Cheese and cardiovascular disease risk: A review of the evidence and discussion of possible mechanisms

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  • Julie Bousgaard Hjerpsted
  • Tine Tholstrup

Abstract Currently, the effect of dairy products on cardiovascular risk is a topic with much debate and conflicting results. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of the existing literature regarding the effect of cheese intake and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Studies included reporting the intake of cheese and risk of CVD or risk factors of CVD represent four human intervention studies, nine prospective studies, one prospective case-cohort study, one prospective nested case-control study, five case-control studies, five cross-sectional studies and three correlation studies. The possible mechanisms that may be of importance include calcium, protein, fermentation and the fatty acid composition of cheese. Results from four prospective studies reported no association between cheese intake and CVD risk, whereas one reported an increased risk, two reported a decreased risk and one reported no association in men but a decreased risk in women. In addition, results from four intervention studies indicated no harmful effect on cholesterol concentrations when comparing fat intake from cheese with fat from butter. The underlying mechanisms for these findings still need to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1389-1403
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 130296513