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Fantastic news dairy fans, because cheese might be the key to a longer life. Can you brie-lieve that, eh? (Sorry).
Researchers from McMasters University in Canada found that those who indulged in more than two portions of cheese a day saw decreases in the chance of stroke and the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study also found similar benefits from those who ate yoghurts and drank milk, too.
The study looked at 130,000 people aged between 35 and 70, from 21 different countries, so it's pretty in-depth.
Dairy-dodgers, who ate less than half a serving a day, saw their mortality rate rise by 44.4 percent, five percent of which was down to cardiovascular disease.
Mahshid Dehghan, lead author of the study said: "Our findings support that consumption of dairy products might be beneficial for mortality and cardiovascular disease, especially in low-income and middle-income countries where dairy consumption is much lower than in North America or Europe."
And if that isn't a good enough reason to dig out the fondue set, a separate study by Texas A&M University, found that eating mature cheese - such as cheddar, blue cheese and parmesan, could lower your chance of liver cancer.
A compound called spermidine, that occurs in aged cheese, could help to prevent two of the most common types of liver cancer - liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma - by stopping damaged cells from replicating. Clever.
But before you go ordering a cheese-feast pizza, Jimmy Chun Yu Louie, from the University of Hong Kong added that while the McMasters' study appears to show that people shouldn't be discouraged from tucking into full-fat dairy, further research was needed.
He said: "The results from the PURE study seem to suggest that dairy intake, especially whole-fat dairy, might be beneficial for preventing deaths and major cardiovascular diseases.
"However, as the authors themselves concluded, the results only suggest the 'consumption of dairy products should not be discouraged and perhaps even be encouraged in low-income and middle-income countries.'
"It is not the ultimate seal of approval for recommending whole-fat dairy over its low-fat or skimmed counterparts. Readers should be cautious and treat this study only as yet another piece of the evidence (albeit a large one) in the literature."
Researchers from the McMasters are in agreement that more work needs to be carried out in the area, specifically into why dairy might have this impact on cardiovascular diseases. Until then I'm going to go ahead and carry on believing cheese is a super food.
Featured Image Credit: PA/Fox
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