Scientists from Aarhus University have tracked down the reason why the French can drink red wine, eat lots of cheese and baguettes and still have a relatively low level of cardiovascular disease.
It’s the cheese.
The results are from a research project that postdoc Morten Rahr Clausen from the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University participates in and which is a joint effort with the University of Copenhagen, according to information from Aarhus University. The scientists found that not only does cheese affect the composition of the bacterial flora in the stomach, it also helps to increase energy consumption so it can be an advantage for those trying to lose weight.
The study included a test group of 15 men whose diets contained either large amounts of milk or cheese but no other dairy products for two weeks. As a control, one of the test groups was given a diet with butter as the only dairy product and thus all the diets had the same number of calories and amount of fat.
Analyses of waste from the men showed that those who were given a diet containing cheese or milk had a higher level of the anti-inflammatory fatty acid butyrate, the university ntoes. Not only does butyrate help reduce cardiovascular disease, the fatty acid also acts as a catalyst for the metabolic rate, keeps the blood fat percentage low and helps prevent obesity. The changes were most pronounced in cheese eaters.
Scientists are not sure whether the healthy substances come directly from the cheese, or whether they are formed by the gut bacteria with help from substances found in the cheese.
Source: Aarhus University