Intake of different types of dairy and its prospective association with risk of type 2 diabetes: The Rotterdam Study

E.M. Brouwer*, G.J. Groenendijk-van Woudenbergh, S.J.W.H. Oude Elferink, C.M. Singh-Povel, A. Hofman, A. Dehghan, O.H. Franco, E.J.M. Feskens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aims

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is increasing. Several studies have suggested a beneficial effect of several major dairy nutrients on insulin production and sensitivity. Conversely, harmful effects have been suggested as well. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the full-range of dairy products and its association with incidence T2DM in Dutch adults aged ≥55 years participating in the Rotterdam Study.

Methods and results

Dairy intake was assessed with a validated FFQ, including total, skimmed, semi-skimmed, full-fat, fermented, and non-fermented dairy, and subclasses of these product groups. Verified prevalent and incident diabetes were documented. Cox proportional hazards regression and spline regression were used to analyse data, adjusting for age, sex, alcohol, smoking, education, physical activity, body mass index, intake of total energy, energy-adjusted meat, and energy-adjusted fish intake. Median total dairy intake was 398 g/day (IQR 259–559 g/day). Through 9.5 ± 4.1 years of follow-up, 393 cases of incident T2DM were reported. Cox and spline regression did not point towards associations of total dairy consumption, dairy consumption based on fat content, non-fermented or fermented dairy consumption, or individual dairy product consumption with incident T2DM. The HR for total dairy intake and T2DM was 0.93 (95% CI: 0.70–1.23) in the upper quartile (P-for trend 0.76).


This prospective cohort study did not point towards an association between dairy consumption and T2DM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-995
JournalNutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cheese
  • Dairy
  • Milk
  • Prospective study
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Yogurt


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