The study, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, had 120 women who had not yet reached menopause, out of which 60 were obese and the other 60 were not.
Half of the participants were assigned to eat 12 ounces of low-fat yoghurt every day for nine weeks while a control group ate non-dairy pudding for nine weeks.
They also took part in a high-calorie meal challenge at the beginning and end of their nine-week dietary intervention.
The challenge, meant to stress an individual’s metabolism, started with either a serving of yoghurt or non-dairy pudding followed by a large high-fat, high-carb breakfast meal.
Results also showed that yoghurt helped to reduce glucose metabolism in obese participants and increased the level of post-meal blood glucose.
The second part of the experiment dwelled on the effects of yoghurt on inflammation.
Scientists had earlier established that inflammation is the body’s first line of defence against illness although it could affect some organs and is also linked to diseases like asthma and arthritis.
Brad Bolling, assistant professor of food science at Wisconsin-Madison, and his team took fasting blood samples from participants at various points during the study and evaluated an assortment of biomarkers that scientists have used to measure endotoxin exposure and inflammation.
Endotoxins are toxins released by bacteria.
They found that yoghurt can reduce inflammation by improving the intestinal lining, thus preventing endotoxins from crossing into the bloodstream.
“The results indicate that ongoing consumption of yoghurt may be having a general anti-inflammatory effect,” said Bolling.
Bolling’s study did not identify which compounds in yoghurt are responsible or how they act in the body.