Researchers at Peking Union Medical College in China conducted a Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis based on earlier studies conducted in Europe with over 450,000 participants publishing their paper in July 2022. The intention of the research was to answer the following two key questions: (1) is cheese intake negatively, neutrally, or positively associated with cardiovascular diseases? (2) what is the effect of cheese intake on cardiovascular-related biomarkers?
The researchers found that,
“In the present two-sample MR analysis, we comprehensively assessed the causal association between cheese intake and cardiovascular diseases as well as cardiovascular biomarkers. Our results revealed that cheese intake was inversely associated with type 2 diabetes, heart failure, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and ischemic stroke, which may be explained by decreased BMI, waist circumference, triglycerides, and fasting glucose.”
“Contrary to common belief, cheese intake could actually reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes, heart failure, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and ischemic stroke.”
The researchers looked for causation and studied cheese in terms of the food matrix, rather than just in terms of saturated fats. “It is, therefore, possible that the combined action of calcium, protein, probiotics, and short-chain fatty acids existing in the matrix of cheese leads to significant beneficial effects despite the presence of saturated-fat content.”