Fermented dairy products protect against heart attacks, study suggests

31/10/2018 - 06:00
Men who eat ‘plenty’ of fermented dairy products have a smaller risk of incident coronary heart disease than men who eat less of them, according to a study from the University of Eastern Finland.

A very high consumption of non-fermented dairy products, on the other hand, was associated with an increased risk of incident coronary heart disease, suggested a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The study explored the associations of fermented and non-fermented dairy products with the risk of incident coronary heart disease.

Approximately 2,000 men participated in the study. Their dietary habits were assessed at the beginning of the study and they were followed up for an average of 20 years. During this follow-up, 472 men experienced an incident coronary heart disease event.

When the study participants were divided into four groups on the basis of their consumption of fermented dairy products with less than 3.5% fat, the risk of incident coronary heart disease was 26% lower in the highest consumption group compared to the lowest consumption group.

Adjunct Professor Jyrki Virtanen from the University of Eastern Finland said: “Here in Finland, people’s habits of consuming different dairy products have changed over the past decades. For instance, the consumption of milk and sour milk have declined, while many fermented dairy products, such as yoghurt, quark and cheeses, have gained in popularity,”

Studies have shown that fermented dairy products have more positive effects on blood lipid profiles and on the risk of heart disease than other dairy products.

Examples of fermented dairy products include cheese, yoghurt, quark, kefir and sour milk.

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