Effects of butter from mountain-pasture grazing cows on risk markers of the metabolic syndrome compared with conventional Danish butter: a randomized controlled study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Louise Bruun Werner
  • Lars I. Hellgren
  • Marianne Raff
  • Søren K. Jensen
  • Rikke Agnete Petersen
  • Tue Drachmann
  • Tine Tholstrup
Background: There is considerable interest in dairy products from low-input systems, such as mountain-pasture grazing cows, because these products are believed to be healthier than products from high-input conventional systems. This may be due to a higher content of bioactive components, such as phytanic acid, a PPAR-agonist derived from chlorophyll. However, the effects of such products on human health have been poorly investigated. Objective: To compare the effect of milk-fat from mountain-pasture grazing cows (G) and conventionally fed cows (C) on risk markers of the metabolic syndrome. Design: In a double-blind, randomized, 12-week, parallel intervention study, 38 healthy subjects replaced part of their habitual dietary fat intake with 39 g fat from test butter made from milk from mountain-pasture grazing cows or from cows fed conventional winter fodder. Glucose-tolerance and circulating risk markers were analysed before and after the intervention. Results: No differences in blood lipids, lipoproteins, hsCRP, insulin, glucose or glucose-tolerance were observed. Interestingly, strong correlations between phytanic acid at baseline and total (P<0.0001) and LDL cholesterol (P=0.0001) were observed. Conclusions: Lack of effects on blood lipids and inflammation indicates that dairy products from mountain-pasture grazing cows are not healthier than products from high-input conventional systems. Considering the strong correlation between LDL cholesterol and phytanic acid at baseline, it may be suggested that phytanic acid increases total and LDL cholesterol. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01343589 Keywords: Dairy-fat, Low-input system, Phytanic acid, LDL cholesterol, Oral glucose tolerance test
Original languageEnglish
Article number99
JournalLipids in Health and Disease
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ID: 119824512