Cardiovascular health

Dairy consumption has no impact on mortality risk

Portrait of Woman enjoying eating her yogurt and blueberries isolated on white background

A study of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort in the Netherlands investigated the role of fermented food intake in mortality due to all causes, total cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is no strong evidence found that the intake of fermented foods, dairy in particular, is associated with mortality.

34,409 Dutch men and women (20-70 years) participated in the cohort study, all free of cancer and CVD. The intake of total and subtypes of bacterial fermented foods contained dairy products (such as yogurt and milk), cheese, vegetables and meat and was measured with a validated FFQ. The authors used the national mortality register to obtain data on the incidence and causes of death.

After a follow up of in average 15 years, 2,436 deaths were determined, whereby 1,216 caused by cancer and 727 related to CVD. After adjustment of the confounding factors (age, sex, total energy intake, physical activity, education level, hypertension, smoking habit, BMI, and intakes of fruit, vegetables and alcohol) total fermented food intake was found not to be associated with total death causes, cancer or CVD. The bacterial fermented food group consisted of 78% dairy products and 16% cheese. Only cheese was inversely associated with CVD, stroke mortality in particular.

Source: Praagman, J. et al. British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 113, Issue 03, February 2015, pp. 498-506.

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