Irish study says people with highest dairy consumption have lower BMI

A new study from FHI in Ireland says eating cheese is not associated with body fatness or LDL cholesterol. Pic: ©iStock/Halfpoint

A new study looking at dairy consumption and its relationship with metabolic health has delivered some promising results for the dairy industry.

The study, published in Nutrition and Diabetes using dietary pattern analysis, examined the impact of dairy foods on markers of body fatness and metabolic health in 1,500 Irish people aged between 18 and 90 years of age.

Simply looking at individual foods does not reflect the real story, said Dr Emma Feeney, FHI (Food For Health Ireland) science programme manager, and lead author of the study.

“What will really impact on our metabolic health, is the overall pattern in which whole foods are consumed,” Feeney said.

Cheese ‘matrix’

The study also examined individual dairy food consumption, with one of the findings indicating that cheese consumption was not associated with body fatness or with LDL cholesterol.

This echoes recent research from other countries that demonstrates that the saturated fat from cheese does not adversely impact blood lipid profiles due to the unique ‘matrix’ of nutrients it contains.

Feeney noted that randomized controlled trials are under way at University College Dublin to understand this cheese ‘matrix’ effect further.

Cheese consumption was also associated with higher C-peptide levels and better insulin sensitivity, which the authors said suggests cheese intake was associated with improved metabolic health in this cohort.

Although those consuming more cheese had a greater intake of dietary fat compared to the low cheese consumers, this did not impact blood lipid profiles, which included markers such as LDL cholesterol.

More research needed

The results suggest dairy foods may offer potential for weight management, particularly milk and yogurt. Dairy foods, principally milk, may also have a role in the control of blood pressure, and potentially in the management of blood glucose.

In addition, the study showed that while low-fat milk and yogurt consumption was associated with a more favorable measure of ‘healthy eating,’ these individuals had greater triglyceride and total cholesterol levels.

The authors suggested this less favorable blood lipid profile could be related to a low-fat high carbohydrate dietary pattern, but stress that more research is needed.

Food for Health Ireland’s (FHI) purpose is to identify novel ingredients coming from milk to develop functional food ingredients that offer health benefits to consumers. Its research focuses on infant nutrition, healthy cheese, appetite modulation, performance nutrition and healthy ageing as well as products that can be used to manage elevated glucose levels.

 

Patterns of dairy food intake, body composition and markers of metabolic health in Ireland: results from the National Adult Nutrition Survey

Source: Nutrition and Diabetes, February 2017

Authors: E L Feeney, A O'Sullivan, A P Nugent, B McNulty, J Walton, A Flynn and E R Gibney

doi:10.1038/nutd.2016.54

Related News

Food for Health Ireland (FHI) has published a bioactive peptides database. Pic: ©iStock/Dr_Microbe

Food for Health Ireland improves information on milk proteins and peptides

Related Products

See more related products

Comments (2)

Chubby cheese addict - 24 Feb 2017 | 10:41

Not Quite Buying It!

When I gave up dairy to nurse my CMPA baby I lost 2 stone! When I re introduced some dairy back when he was no longer nursing I piled it all back on! Obviously I have no idea about blood lipid profiles and cholesterol levels but my dairy addiction does make me fat!

24-Feb-2017 at 10:41 GMT

Chris - 24 Feb 2017 | 08:12

Study on 23 people involving only one food group

Article should point out up front the conflict of interest naming the body which sponsored the study and that only 23 people were used in the study. To have any value at all by which this study can be properly measured should be concurrent studies held involving other types of food - other than just dairy.

24-Feb-2017 at 08:12 GMT

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.