And in even better news, the results were best for people who ate or drank at least two servings of full-fat dairy products every day.
Participants from the study, published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, were from countries from across the world and between 35 and 70 years old.
Those who had at least two servings of dairy — defined as milk, yogurt, yogurt drinks, cheese and dishes prepared with dairy products, but not including butter or cream — were associated with a 12 percent drop in risk for metabolic syndrome, the condition that leads to cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
Those who had three servings of dairy had a 14 percent decreased risk of both diseases. People from countries with lower dairy intake had the highest risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the researchers found.
The results are observational, meaning researchers could not determine why dairy drinkers were at a lower risk for both conditions, so more studies are needed to determine if people with high blood pressure should chug some milk.
“If our findings are confirmed in sufficiently large and long term trials, then increasing dairy consumption may represent a feasible and low cost approach to reducing [metabolic syndrome], hypertension, diabetes, and ultimately cardiovascular disease events worldwide,” the researchers said in a statement.