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Can eating ice cream prevent diabetes?

In a delightful odyssey, a Atlantic An article recently addressed a swirling controversy surrounding an “inconvenient” finding replicated in various nutrition studies: the consumption of not only dairy products, but also ice cream in particular, has been associated with a lower risk. of diabetes.

As detailed in “The Most Absurd Finding in Nutritional Science”, not just individual studies, but the analysis of decades of research has failed to dispense with this clearly consumer-approved but scientifically improbable association. . A 2016 article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition summarizing data from a dozen studies, it was found that eating at least half a cup of dairy dessert per week was associated with a 19% decrease in the risk of diabetes (even higher than the 14% reduction in risk observed with yogurt).

But, as noted in the story, the authors of this paper, like other experts, have dismissed conclusions about so-called “reverse causation” – essentially that the link between ice cream and diabetes is not was not going in the direction you would expect. That is, for example, people who were healthy and already at low risk of developing diabetes might have felt more comfortable having a bumpy road, while those who were already more at risk of developing the chronic disease could have had less.

The key takeaway in all of this, buried some 3,300 words in the sweetly indulgent exposé, is sadly vanilla: “To be clear, none of the experts interviewed for this article are inclined to believe the ice cream effect is real. ”

Mark Pereira, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, has long struggled with the ice cream-reduced diabetes risk correlation in his own research. “I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a discovery in my career, because it’s completely unexpected,” he told AARP. “THE Atlantic article was really good journalism,” added Pereira, who was interviewed for this article.

But even without an explanation of the link, Pereira isn’t about to advise people to make soft serve a feature of their daily diet in the name of diabetes prevention.

“There could be something causal there,” Pereira acknowledges, giving at least a glimmer of hope to ice apologists everywhere. “But that’s a far cry from saying, ‘Oh, I would recommend people with prediabetes increase their ice cream intake. I mean there are so many other ways to change your diet and improve your physical activity to lower your A1C (a measure of blood sugar) and prevent diabetes.

Recovered another way: There is still no proven reason to believe that ice cream will protect you from diabetes. So, for now at least, experts still suggest enjoying ice cream in moderation — not as a preventative.

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