Effects of dairy on heart diseases have been debated on by experts. A Finnish study shows that consumption of fermented dairy can protect one from cardiovascular diseases.
Arteries carrying blood to the heart can be restricted due to fat buildup and this is called coronary heart disease which can cause heart attack, heart failure or chest pain. High BP, high cholesterol and smoking cause CHD. There is no definite consensus about consumption of dairy products and their effect on heart diseases. But it is important to differentiate between the various kinds of dairy, the effects of which on long-term physical health may vary. The new study suggests that consuming fermented dairy products like cheese, sour milk, yogurt, quark and kefir may actually protect the heart. The findings of the study indicate that people who take fermented dairy products are less likely to develop CHD than those who prefer non-fermented ones.
This study was a part of Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor research. Data on 1,981 men between 42 and 60 years of age were studied from years 1984 to 1989. While none of the subjects had CHD at baseline, 472 cases were reported over the 20 years follow up period.
To understand the effect of dairy products on development of CHD, the men were divided into separate groups depending on the consumption of non-fermented and fermented dairy products. It was found that among the men whose intake of fermented dairy items with fat content of less than 3.5%, men in highest consumption group had 27% lower risk of developing CHD in comparison with those in the low consumption group. Other findings showed that sour milk was the low-fat fermented dairy food which was most widely consumed. Cheese, a high-fat fermented dairy item, did not affect CHD risk. People who drank regular milk, a non-fermented dairy product, were highly likely to develop CHD. The average consumption was seen to be 0.9liters/day. No link was found between CHD and low intake of non-fermented dairy items.