The persistent rise in diabetes cases worldwide, coupled with emerging research, has prompted health professionals and those living with diabetes to examine the role of diet in managing this chronic condition more closely. A critical aspect of this conversation is the consumption of dairy products by individuals with diabetes. A recent response to earlier research published in the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA) has shed new light on this subject. Authored by renowned endocrinologists Dr. Sanjay Kalra, Dr. Saurabh Arora, and Dr. Nitin Kapoor, the article scrutinizes the use of dairy products in people living with diabetes, providing a nuanced perspective that could influence dietary recommendations and patient outcomes.


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In a notable recent development in the field of diabetes management, an enlightening response by Dr. Sanjay Kalra, an authority in endocrinology at the Bharti Hospital, Karnal, along with his colleagues Dr. Saurabh Arora of the Department of Endocrinology at Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, and Dr. Nitin Kapoor of the Christian Medical College, Vellore, has been published in the prestigious Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA). Their expert commentary addresses the topic of dairy product consumption among individuals with diabetes—a matter of significant importance for clinicians and patients alike.

The article, published in the JPMA on January 16, 2024, emerges as a response to a prior publication in the same journal and commits to delving deep into the relationship between dairy intake and diabetes control. The exchange of scholarly opinions in such a high-profile publication underlines the criticality of dietary management in diabetes and the necessity of continued research in this area.

Dairy Products and Diabetes: What Experts Say

Dr. Kalra and his colleagues present a robust case for re-evaluating the role of dairy in diets for those affected by diabetes. The discussion is anchored on evidence-based practices and the latest scientific findings that suggest dairy products can be a beneficial component of a diabetic diet when consumed judiciously.

In diabetes management, nutrition plays a pivotal role, and dairy products possess a unique nutritional profile. They are excellent sources of high-quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D. However, the carbohydrate content in milk and some dairy products can affect blood glucose levels—a concern that individuals with diabetes need to monitor closely.

Research shows that the consumption of low-fat dairy products may be associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This premise is based on the fact that dairy products contain essential nutrients that can aid in weight management and metabolic health, both of which are integral factors in diabetes care. Moreover, the fermentation process in certain dairy products like yogurt can result in probiotics that contribute to gut health, which in turn has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity.

The JPMA article dissects the complex interactions between dairy intake and glycemic control, discussing that not all dairy is created equal in context to diabetes management. For instance, the glycemic index of full-fat dairy products is a matter of debate among researchers, as some studies posit that full-fat varieties may be beneficial due to their satiety-inducing effects, which could help in appetite control.

The article also makes reference to the dietary patterns prevalent in Pakistan and South Asia at large, where dairy products are a staple. The response from Dr. Kalra and team emphasizes the need for cultural considerations when forming dietary guidelines for diabetes, suggesting that blanket recommendations may not be universally applicable.

Implications for Diabetes Care

The insights provided in the JPMA response have significant implications for the global medical community and for people living with diabetes. They underscore the necessity for individualized dietary recommendations that take into account the specific health profiles and cultural dietary practices of people with diabetes. A one-size-fits-all approach may not be effective given the diversity in types of dairy products, differences in their nutritional composition, and the individualistic nature of diabetes management.

Furthermore, the discussion encourages healthcare providers to stay abreast of emerging nutritional research and to adopt a more holistic perspective when advising patients about their diets. It cautions against the oversimplification of complex dietary issues and promotes the inclusion of evidence-based nutritional strategies in diabetes care plans.

Frontier Research and Future Steps

As global diabetes rates continue to escalate, the engagement of experts like Dr. Kalra, Dr. Arora, and Dr. Kapoor in exploring the intricate connections between diet and diabetes control becomes increasingly crucial. Their work encourages ongoing research into the relationship between dairy products and diabetes, which can inform future dietary guidelines and, more importantly, improve patient outcomes.

The recognition of their scholarly contribution to the JPMA underlines the academic rigor and clinical importance of their viewpoint on an internationally contentious issue. It serves as a clarion call for deeper investigations into how the nutritional properties of dairy can be effectively harnessed to aid in diabetes management.

As the medical community moves forward, it will be essential for clinical trials to evaluate the specific types and amounts of dairy products that may confer benefits or pose risks to those with diabetes. Such trials can offer comprehensive understandings that dietary advice can draw upon, ensuring that individuals with diabetes can make informed choices that promote their health and wellbeing.


1. Kalra, S., Arora, S., & Kapoor, N. (2024). Use of Dairy Products in People Living with Diabetes. J Pak Med Assoc, 74(1), 194.
2. Eussen, S. J., et al. (2015). Consumption of dairy foods and diabetes incidence: a dose-response meta-analysis of observational studies. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(4), 745-757. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.099216
3. Chen, M., et al. (2014). Dairy consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: 3 cohorts of US adults and an updated meta-analysis. BMC Medicine, 12, 215. doi:10.1186/s12916-014-0215-1
4. Tong, X., et al. (2011). Dairy consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 65(9), 1027-1031. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2011.62
5. Sluijs, I., et al. (2012). The amount and type of dairy product intake and incident type 2 diabetes: results from the EPIC-InterAct Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 96(2), 382-390. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.021907


The scholarly dialogue facilitated by the recent JPMA article by Drs. Kalra, Arora, and Kapoor highlights the dynamic nature of nutrition research in diabetes care. It raises essential questions and leads to an understanding that the inclusion of dairy products in the diet of individuals with diabetes should be personalized, prudent, and backed by scientific evidence. Moving forward, comprehensive research and culturally sensitive dietary guidelines would be needed to harness the potential benefits of dairy for those striving to manage their diabetes effectively. It is a crucial step towards optimizing dietary recommendations and ultimately, improving the quality of life for people with diabetes across the globe.