Just 28g of yoghurt a day has been linked to an 18pc lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Other dairy products like milk and cheese do not have the same effect.
The study was carried out by Harvard School of Public Health.
Previous research has suggested that calcium, magnesium or specific fatty acids present in dairy products may lower the risk of the disease.
“We found that higher intake of yogurt is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas other dairy foods and consumption of total dairy did not show this association. The consistent findings for yogurt suggest that it can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern,” said senior researcher Frank Hu.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough insuling.
There is an increased risk of developing the condition if a relative also has it or if the individual has an unhealthy lifestyle.
About 366 million people worldwide are affected and this figures is expected to rise to 552 million people by 2030.