Association between habitual yogurt consumption and newly diagnosed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

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Many studies have suggested that probiotics may be applied as a therapeutic agent for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the effects of frequent yogurt consumption (as a natural probiotic source) on NAFLD remain poorly understood. This study was to examine the association of habitual yogurt consumption with newly diagnosed NAFLD in the general adult population.


Overall, 24,389 adults were included in this cross-sectional study. Yogurt consumption was estimated by using a validated self-administered food frequency questionnaire. NAFLD was diagnosed by abdominal ultrasonography. We used logistic regression models to assess the association between yogurt consumption categories and newly diagnosed NAFLD.


The multivariable odds ratios with 95% confidence interval of newly diagnosed NAFLD were 1.00 (0.88, 1.14) for 1 time/week, 0.91 (0.81, 1.02) for 2–3 times/week, and 0.86 (0.76, 0.98) for ≥4 times/week (P for trend = 0.01), compared with those who consumed <1 time/week yogurt. The inverse association was observed in a sensitivity analysis.


Higher yogurt consumption was inversely associated with the prevalence of newly diagnosed NAFLD. These results are needed to be confirmed in randomized controlled trials or prospective studies.

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We are grateful to all the people that have made this study. This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81673166, 81372118, 81372467, and 81302422), the key technologies R&D program of Tianjin (Key Project: Nos. 11ZCGYSY05700, 12ZCZDSY20400, 13ZCZDSY20200, and 15YFYZSY00020), the National Science and Technology Support Program (No. 2012BAI02B02), 2012 and 2016 Chinese Nutrition Society (CNS) Nutrition Research Foundation—DSM Research Fund (Nos. 2014–071, 2016–046 and 2016–023), the Technologies development program of Beichen District of Tianjin (Nos. bcws2013–21, bcws2014–05 and 2015-SHGY-02), the technologies project of Tianjin Binhai New Area (Nos. 2013–02–04 and 2013–02–06), the Science Foundation of Tianjin Medical University (Nos. 2010KY28 and 2013KYQ24), the Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety (Fudan University), Ministry of Education (No. GW2014–5), and the National Training Programs of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Undergraduates (No. 201510062013), China.

Author information

SZ drafted the manuscript. JF, QZ, LL, ML, GM and ZY interpreted the results and contributed to the discussions. HW, YX, XB, YG, SS, XW, MZ, QJ, KS, YW, and HX contributed to collect the data. KN designed the study, analyzed the data, reviewed, and edited the manuscript. KN had full access to all the data and took responsibility for the integrity of the data. All authors approved the final version.

Correspondence to Kaijun Niu.

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