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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dairy products and cardiovascular disease.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Although it has often been postulated that the consumption of dairy products is associated with a high risk of coronary heart disease, study results have been conflicting. This review summarizes recent observational and human intervention trial findings on dairy products and cardiovascular disease. RECENT FINDINGS: Results from more recent observational studies on dairy products and milk disagree. This may be because of the very different methods used combined with several methodological problems. A somewhat surprising beneficial association between the intake of dairy products and the metabolic syndrome was observed in some studies, although not in a single study of elderly women. Milk may have the same cholesterol-raising properties as butter, whereas cheese does not seem to increase plasma cholesterol. Some milk products fermented by specific bacterial strains have been shown to have rather moderate cholesterol-reducing properties. There is also good evidence that certain fermented products (especially by Lactobacillus helveticus) have a mildly decreasing effect on hypertension, probably because of bioactive peptides. SUMMARY: When guiding principles such as balance, variety and moderation are stressed, there is no strong evidence that dairy products increase the risk of coronary heart disease in healthy men of all ages or young and middle-aged healthy women. Human studies should investigate the role of dairy products with respect to sex and age by including classic and novel risk markers of coronary heart disease. Specific fermented milks may be beneficial in the future prevention of hypertension. The beneficially neutral effect of cheese on coronary heart disease risk factors should be elucidated further.[1]


  1. Dairy products and cardiovascular disease. Tholstrup, T. Curr. Opin. Lipidol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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