Common dairy products could help prevent heart attacks, study explains why

Credit: Pexels

Credit: Pexels

Greasy, fatty meals with few nutrients have been linked to heart attacks. However, there are a few foods that may help you avoid them, according to a new report.

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Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland recently conducted a study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, to determine the link between risk of cardiac arrest and fermented and non-fermented dairy products. Fermented dairy products include buttermilk, sour cream and cheese, and non-fermented dairy products include milk.

For their assessment, they examined about 2,000 men between 1984 and 1989, evaluating their lifestyle and nutritional habits. They then divided the subjects into four groups based on their dairy intake and followed up with them after about 20 years.

After analyzing the results, they found that 472 of the males had experienced a cardiovascular disease event, such as a heart attack.

Upon further investigation, they noticed those with the highest consumption of fermented dairy products, which contained less than 3.5 percent fat, had a 26 percent lower heart attack risk, compared to those with the lowest consumption.

"Sour milk was the most commonly used low-fat fermented dairy product. The consumption of high-fat fermented dairy products, such as cheese, was not associated with the risk of incident coronary heart disease," the team wrote in a statement.

Furthermore, they said very high consumption of non-fermented dairy products was associated with increased risk of heart attacks. They listed milk as the most commonly used product in this category and defined high consumption as an average daily milk intake of 0.9 liters.

“The new study provides further evidence on the health benefits that fermented dairy products may have over non-fermented ones,” the analysts concluded.

While they do not yet understand why there is a relationship between fermented dairy products and reduced heart attack risk, they hypothesize that the compounds formed during the fermentation process may be a factor.

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