A new study done by an international team of experts discovered that consumption of dairy fats and products decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to individuals who consume less dairy food.
The study looked at the dairy fat intake of 4,150 persons in Sweden, a country with one of the highest levels of dairy production and consumption in the world. All of the individuals are 60 years old, and their blood levels of a specific fatty acid found mostly in dairy meals were measured.
The cohort was subsequently tracked for an average of 16 years by experts to see how many suffered heart attacks, strokes, and other major circulatory events, and how many died.
After accounting for other known heart disease risk factors such as age, income, lifestyle, dietary habits, and other diseases, the study discovered that those with high levels of fatty acid, which indicates high consumption of dairy products, had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease and no increased risk of death from any cause.
The assumption was confirmed after merging the Swedish data with 17 other comparable research involving over 43,000 participants from the United States, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.
“While the findings may be impacted by variables other than dairy fat, our study does not show any damage from dairy fat per se,” said Matti Marklund, senior researcher at the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney and co-senior author of the publication.
Further research is needed, according to the author, to fully understand the health impact of dairy fats and dairy meals.
According to Kathy Trieu, the study’s primary author and a researcher at the George Institute, intake of various dairy items, particularly fermented goods, has previously been linked to cardiac benefits.
Why are dairy foods good for the heart?
According to the study, dairy products, while high in saturated fat, also include a variety of other vital nutrients and may be a component of a balanced diet. Other fats, such as those found in seafood, nuts, and nontropical vegetable oils, can, nevertheless, provide higher health advantages than dairy fats.
Alice Lichtenstein, director and senior scientist at Tufts University’s Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, told CNN that her main concern about the study was that the findings could be misinterpreted and used to convince people that all full-fat dairy products reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and make the heart healthier.
The majority of the research, however, does not support consuming full-fat dairy products to lower CVD risk, according to Lichtenstein.