Posted on Jan 04, 2017, 6 a.m.
People who consume cheese have higher levels of a gut bacteria that is linked to reduced cholesterol.
Despite a diet high in saturated fats, the French tend to have low rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD), a phenomenon known as the “French Paradox.” A number of published studies suggest a role of wine (resveratrol) and lifestyle. Hanne Bertram, from Aarhus University (Denmark), and colleagues compared urine and fecal samples from 15 healthy men whose diets either contained cheese or milk, or who ate a control diet with butter but no other dairy products. The team found that those who consumed cheese had higher fecal levels of butyrate, a compound produced by gut bacteria. Elevated butyrate levels were linked to a reduction in cholesterol, suggesting a role for gut microbes in cardiovascular disease. Observing that: “Compared with milk intake, cheese consumption significantly reduced urinary citrate, creatine, and creatinine levels and significantly increased the microbiota-related metabolites butyrate, hippurate, and malonate,” the study authors write that: “Correlation analyses indicated that microbial and lipid metabolism could be involved in the dairy-induced effects on blood cholesterol level.”
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Hong Zheng, Christian C. Yde, Morten R. Clausen, Mette Kristensen, Janne Lorenzen, Arne Astrup, and Hanne C. Bertram. “Metabolomics Investigation To Shed Light on Cheese as a Possible Piece in the French Paradox Puzzle.” J. Agric. Food Chem., 2015, 63 (10), pp 2830–2839.