Aged cheeses, such as cheddar, are better for your health

A new white paper published today looks at the the health benefits and nutritional and microbiological properties of popular fermented dairy products. It evaluates Yogurt, Kefir, Koumiss (fermented mare’s milk made originally by the nomadic peoples of central Asia) and Cheese. We take a look at the findings related to cheese here.

  • Lactose Intolerance: Ripened cheese (e.g. parmesan, Swiss, and cheddar) contains little or no lactose, but does contain other essential nutrients. Approximately 70% of the global population cannot tolerate lactose in adulthood;
  • Diabetes: The maturation process can enhance the beneficial properties of cheese. The review cites a study conducted on diabetic mice in 2012. Consumption of 35-day-ripened cheese improved the health of the rodents (enhanced glucose tolerance significantly without affecting insulin secretion, reduction in lipid peroxide markers and hepatic lipid content).
  • Dental Health: Chewing a piece of cheese after consuming
    a sugary food quickly returns plaque pH to neutral. However, the preventive effects of fresh and young cheese appear lower than those of aged cheese.
  • Hypertension and Cardiovascular Health: Although cheese contains saturated fat, consuming it has been found to lower the risk of obesity and cardiovascular health. This has been linked to the presence of calcium and bioactive peptides. Some bioactive peptides present in cheese can lower blood pressure. Studies have found low concentrations of these peptides in soft cheese, followed by average concentrations in semi-hard and hard cheeses, and high concentrations in extra-hard cheeses.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: It has been demonstrated that consuming probiotic cheese can reduce inflammation and enhance the microbiota in the stomach, both of which can have a beneficial effect on the severity and symptoms of the disease
  • Antioxidant activities: The antioxidant activity of bioactive peptides identified in Cheddar has been documented in multiple studies. The number of peptides in cheddars have been investigated and found to peak at 4 months maturity.

Read more:

Saleem GN, Gu R, Qu H, Bahar Khaskheli G, Rashid Rajput I, Qasim M and Chen X (2024)
Therapeutic potential of popular fermented dairy products and its benefits on human health.
Frontiers in Nutrition 28th Feb 2024
doi: 10.3389/fnut.2024.1328620

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