Cheese is one of the most consumed dairy derivatives in the world in its various varieties. Although it is true that its consumption still a subject of discussion As for nutritional advice, given its high content of saturated animal fats and sodium, it is also worth remembering its richness in proteins, minerals, vitamins, probiotics and bioactive molecules.
Now, a new systematic review and meta-analysis of studies wanted to shed light on the potential benefits or disadvantages of cheese consumption. Their results were recently published in the journal Advances in Nutrition.
Just like it happened with the egg, cheese consumption will not be harmful as we have always been told. Actually, I would advantages regarding the risk of mortality, or even neutral effects in other areas of health.
This will be proposed in a new review that takes into account 35 updated meta-analyses, 4 de novo meta-analyses, and 8 previous meta-analyses, including finally 47 important health outcomes.
Currently, most nutritional guidelines recommend consuming milk and dairy products as part of a healthy diet, but avoiding their high-fat, high-sodium foods. These recommendations will be shortened to dietetics, that is, taking into account only the nutrients of the food, and not the whole food as such. Dairy products are not just a set of nutrients, but a “whole”, milk matrix whose digestibility and bioavailability matter. And every dairy derivative works differently, that’s why talk about “dairy derivatives” may be a generalization prone to delusion.
In order to find out how cheese really affects human health, in particular, the researchers conducted search in PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Librarysearch for pooled meta-analyses/analyses of prospective studies investigating the association between cheese consumption and major health outcomes up to 31 August 2022. Fifty-four potential articles were found and 47 results were ultimately reviewed.
Delay in time
Based on their results and moderate quality evidencecheese consumption will be associated with low risk of all-cause mortalitylower risk of CV death, CVD, coronary heart disease, and stroke or stroke, but no association was found with a lower risk of death from cancer, hypertension, and prostate cancer.
On the other hand, and on the basis low quality evidence, found an inverse relationship between cheese consumption and risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, fractures, and dementia. There was no association with mortality from specific cancers (colorectal, colon, rectum, lung and stomach), mortality from coronary heart disease, and incidence of specific cancers and their subtypes. There was also no association with risk of overweight/obesity, hip fracture or falls.
Although cheese consumption today is still associated with an increased risk of hypertension and an increased risk of hypercholesterolemia, given its high content of saturated fat and sodium, moderate-quality evidence suggests that cheese cheese does not increase the risk of cardiovascular diseaseand it would even protective potential before that In fact, other previous meta-analyses have already suggested the same reverse or “defensive” associations.
While previous meta-analyses and large prospective studies did suggest that high consumption of dairy products in general and whole milk in particular would be associated with higher cancer incidence and mortality, this meta-analysis found zero association between cheese consumption and overall cancer incidence and mortality. In this regard, the researchers remind the need to adjust for the total calorie content of the diet: the higher the total calorie content of the diet, regardless of whether cheese is consumed or not, the risk of developing cancer increases. But not because of the cheese specifically, but because of the total calorie content as such.
How conclusion and final result, the authors suggest that cheese consumption would have neutral to moderate human health benefits, especially from 40 grams per day, leading to an inverse relationship between all-cause mortality and CVD mortality, as well as CVD risk. ischemic heart disease and stroke. Similarly, the association with cancer mortality, hypertension, or prostate cancer risk would be zero. While cheese is high in fat and sodium, its nutrients and bioactive compounds offset and provide the aforementioned benefits.