Fermented Dairy Products Linked To Reduced Risk Of Myocardial Infarction

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Fermented Dairy Products Linked To Reduced Risk Of Myocardial Infarction
Fermented Dairy Products Linked To Reduced Risk Of Myocardial Infarction

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Fermented dairy products linked to reduced risk of myocardial infarction

Men who eat a lot of fermented dairy products have a lower risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). On the other hand, a very high amount of unfermented dairy products in the diet is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Fermented dairy products linked to reduced risk of myocardial infarction
Fermented dairy products linked to reduced risk of myocardial infarction

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Men who eat a lot of fermented dairy products have a lower risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). On the other hand, a very high amount of unfermented dairy products in the diet is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. These findings were made by scientists from the University of Eastern Finland and published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Fermented dairy products include cheese, yogurt, quark (soft cottage cheese), kefir, and sour milk. According to earlier studies, they have a positive effect on blood lipid profiles and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease to a much greater extent than other dairy products. However, this topic remains insufficiently studied.

A study on coronary heart disease risk factors, conducted in Kuopio, investigated the relationship between fermented and unfermented dairy products with the risk of coronary heart disease.

It involved about 2,000 men, aged 42 to 60 years, who did not have coronary artery disease at the start of the study. Their eating habits were assessed at the start of the study (1984-1989). During the observation period, which averaged 20 years, 472 men were diagnosed with coronary heart disease.

The participants were divided into groups according to the criterion of the amount of consumption of different dairy products. The researchers compared the groups with the highest and lowest intakes, and considered various lifestyle and dietary factors.

Four groups of participants were identified based on the consumption of fermented dairy products with a fat content of less than 3.5% (the most popular was sour milk). The highest intake group was 26% less likely to develop coronary heart disease than the lowest intake group. By the way, the presence of such high-fat fermented dairy products as cheese in the diet is not associated with the risk of coronary heart disease.

In addition, the researchers found that very high consumption of unfermented dairy products increased the risk of CHD. The most popular product in this category was milk. Very high intake was defined as “average daily intake of 0.9 liters of milk”. At a lower consumption level, there was no association with the risk of coronary heart disease.

“Here in Finland, people's habits of consuming different dairy products have changed over the past decades. For example, the consumption of milk and sour milk has decreased, and many fermented dairy products such as yoghurt, quark and cheeses have become popular,”said Associate Professor Jyrki Virtanen.

The new study provides additional data on the health benefits of fermented dairy products compared to unfermented ones. The mechanism is not yet fully understood, but perhaps this is due to the compounds formed during the fermentation process.

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