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Effect Of Cheese On Gut Microbes May Account For “French Paradox”

April 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Danish researchers say cheese metabolism – not red wine -- is the real reason for the "paradox” of low heart disease rates in France despite a high-fat diet. The researchers looked at urine and fecal samples from 15 healthy men who ate either cheese or milk, or ate butter but no other dairy products. Those who ate cheese had more gut microbiota-related metabolites like butyrate, hippurate, and malonate in their feces. Elevated butyrate levels are linked to reduced cholesterol levels. The researchers concluded that microbial and lipid metabolism “could be involved in the dairy-induced effects on blood cholesterol level” that lead to the “French paradox.”
Hong Zheng et al., "Metabolomics Investigation To Shed Light on Cheese as a Possible Piece in the French Paradox Puzzle", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, April 08, 2015, © American Chemical Society
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