Study: Dairy Products May Help in Heart Attack Protection

Fatty, greasy meals with little nutrients have been tied in the past to heart attacks, but a few foods might help to avoid them, says a new study just released.

University of Eastern Finland researchers recently carried out a study that the British Journal of Nutrition published to determine links between dairy product that are fermented and non-fermented and cardiac arrest.

Dairy products that fall in the fermented category include sour cream, cheese and buttermilk, while the products that are non-fermented include milk.

For the study, researchers examined approximately 2,000 men from 1984 to 1989, evaluating nutritional habits and lifestyle. They then broke the men into four different groups based upon the amount of dairy intake and studied them for the next 20 years.

The results were then analyzed by researchers who found that 472 of the men experienced some type of cardiovascular disease event that included heart attacks.

Investigating further, researchers were able to determine that those that consumed the largest amount of fermented dairy products, containing fat content less than 3.5% had a 26% lower risk of heart attack, in comparison to those that consumed the lowest amount of fermented dairy products.

Sour milk turned out to be the most commonly used in the category of low-fat fermented products. Consumption of high-fermented products like cheese, were not associated with risk of coronary heart disease, wrote the researchers.

In addition, they added that high consumption of dairy products that are non-fermented was associated with a higher risk of heart attacks. Milk was listed as the most common product used in that category and high consumption was defined as an intake daily of 0.9 liters of milk.

This new study has provided additional evidence on health benefits from dairy products that are fermented over dairy products that are non-fermented, concluded analysts.

While there is not an understanding of why there exists a relationship between the fermented dairy products and a lower risk of heart attack, they conclude that compounds formed during the process of fermentation might be the biggest factor.