IN A NUTSHELL : Fermented foods containing probiotics seems to have interesting effects on health. However, the relationships between fermentation, probiotics and health remains unclear. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition published a review on several studies to explore the relationship between the probiotic consumption and cardiometabolic risk factors.
Probiotic foods, including fermented dairy (FD) products such as yogurt and cheese, naturally contain live microorganisms, but the relationship between the consumption of probiotic foods and health is unclear.
The aim of the present narrative review is to integrate the available information on the relationship between the most studied FD products, which are yogurt and cheese, and cardiometabolic risk factors obtained from meta-analysis, systematic reviews of prospective cohort studies (PCSs) and PCSs published up to 2 November 2019. Additionally, the effects identified by randomized controlled trials of less-studied FD products, such as kefir and kimchi, on cardiometabolic risk factors are provided. PCSs have shown that the consumption of cheese, despite its high saturated fat content, is not associated with expected hypercholesterolemia and an increased cardiovascular risk. PCSs have revealed that the total consumption of FD appears to be associated with a lower risk of developing stroke and cardiovascular disease. The consumption of yogurt seems to be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. There is a lack of sufficient evidence of a protective relationship between FD or cheese consumption and metabolic syndrome. Moreover, the association of FD, cheese and yogurt with hypertension needs further evidence.
In conclusion, the intake of fermented foods containing probiotics, particularly yogurt and cheese (of an undetermined type), opens up new opportunities for the management of cardiometabolic risk factors.
Source : Companys J, Pedret A, Valls RM, Solà R, Pascual V. Fermented dairy foods rich in probiotics and cardiometabolic risk factors: a narrative review from prospective cohort studies [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 21]. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020;1-10. doi:10.1080/10408398.2020.1768045
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