Role of fermented dairy products in the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet

mediterranean diet

mediterranean dietResearch in Switzerland regarding the role of fermented dairy products in the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet was published this week. The Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, cancer, inflammation, fracture and neurodegenerative disorders. A large body of evidence indicates that the consumption of fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, significantly contributes to the beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet.

This paper draws from a large number of other papers in the context of the commonly held benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

Bone Health: Fermented milk products contain calcium, protein, prebiotics and probiotics which together are shown help with bone mineralization, resorption and formation leading to fewer fractures and reduced risk of osteoperosis.

Cardiovascular Health: The paper draws from several research papers. Altogether, these studies indicate that intake of fermented dairy products are associated with a lower cardiovascular risk.

Diabetes Risk: The relationship between the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and the consumption of fermented dairy products has been addressed in numerous systematic reviews and meta-analyses. All of them have concluded that increasing yogurt intake was associated with a lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Cancer Risk: A meta-analysis including 117 studies with 3,202,496 participants has demonstrated that the highest adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated to a lower risk of cancer mortality and of all-cause mortality in cancer survivors, as well as a lower risk of cancer in some types of tumours, including colo-rectal cancer. Four papers reported higher yogurt consumption to be associated with lower risk of large intestine adenoma and of colo-rectal cancer.

Neurodegenerative disorders: The research paper looked at 5 previous studies that show that the consumption of fermented dairy products appears to help cognitive function, particularly when people consume yoghurt – there is a hypothesis that yogurt consumption may be a marker of healthy diet and lifestyle.

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Role of fermented dairy products in the health benefits of a mediterranean diet by René Rizzoli and Emmanuel Biver

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