Eating a small portion of Jarlsberg cheese daily may help prevent osteoporosis

Jarlsberg cheese

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A small portion (57 g) per day of Jarlsberg cheese may help ward off osteoporosis (osteoporosis/osteoporosis) without increasing LDL cholesterol, suggesting results of a small comparative clinical trial, published in the Open Access Journal. Prevention of nutrition and health BMJ.

The results indicate that the effects appear to be specific to this type of cheese.

Jarlsberg is a light, semi-soft, nutty cheese made from cow’s milk, with regular holes. It originates from Jarlsberg in eastern Norway.

Previous research suggests that it may help increase levels of osteocalcin, a hormone associated with strong bones and teeth, but it’s not clear if this effect is specific to Jarlsberg or any type of cheese.

In an effort to find out, researchers studied 66 healthy women (average age 33; average BMI 24) who were randomly assigned to add either a 57g daily serving of Jarlsberg (41) or 50g of Camembert cheese (25). to their diet for 6 weeks.

At the end of this period, the group eating Camembert was transferred to Jarlsberg for another six weeks.

Jarlsberg and Camembert have similar fat and protein contents, but unlike Camembert, Jarlsberg is rich in vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone (MK), of which there are many varieties.

Short-chain MK-4 is found in animal products such as liver. Long-chain MK-7, MK-8, MK-9 and MK-9 (4H) originate from bacteria and are found in some fermented foods, such as cheese. Jarlsberg is particularly rich in both MK-9 and MK-9 (4H).

Blood samples were taken every six weeks from all participants to check for major proteins, osteocalcin, and a peptide (PINP) involved in bone turnover. The levels of vitamin K2 and lipids in the blood were also measured.

Analysis of the blood sample showed that key biochemical markers of bone turnover, including osteocalcin, and vitamin K2 were significantly increased after 6 weeks in the Jarlsberg group.

Among those in the Camembert group, PINP levels remained unchanged while levels of other biochemical indicators decreased slightly. But it increased significantly after switching to Jarlsberg. PINP levels also increased.

Blood lipids increased slightly in both groups after 6 weeks. But levels of total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased significantly in the Camembert group after they switched to Jarlsberg.

Hemoglobin-glucose (HbA1c) – the amount of glucose suspended in red blood cells – decreased significantly (by 3%) in the Jarlsberg group, while it rose sharply (by 2%) in those taking Camembert. But after switching to Jarlsberg, HbA1c dropped significantly in this group as well.

calcium and magnesium He fell heavily into the Jarlsberg group but remained unchanged in the Camembert group. After switching cheese, Calcium Levels in this group also decreased, which may reflect increased absorption of these key minerals in bone formationResearchers say.

Daily consumption of Jarlsberg cheese has a positive effect on osteocalcin, among others [markers of bone turnover]Hemoglobin and glycated lipids,” the researchers wrote, concluding that the effects are specific to this cheese.

They added that the bacteria (Proprionebacterium freudenreichii) in Jarlsberg that produce MK-9-(4H) also produces a substance called DHNA, which experimental studies suggest may combat osteoporosis and increase bone tissue formation, possibly explaining the increase in osteocalcin. .

They suggest that Jarlsberg cheese may thus help prevent osteoporosis – the precursor to osteoporosis – as well as metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, although more research is needed to confirm this, they stress.

“This study shows that while calcium and vitamin D are known to be extremely important for bone health, other key factors play a role, such as vitamin K2, which is probably not as well known,” comments Professor Sumantra Rai, Executive Director, NNEdPro Global Center for Nutrition and Health, who co-owns the journal.

The study also highlights an important research issue, he adds: “The different methods of preparation mean that there are key differences in the nutritional composition of cheese which has often been seen as a homogeneous nutrient in nutritional research to date. This needs to be addressed in future studies.”

But he cautions, “Because this is a small study in young, healthy people designed to explore new pathways linking diet and bone health, the results should be interpreted with extreme caution as study participants will not necessarily be representative of other groups. It should not be taken as a recommendation to eat a type of certain cheese.”

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more information:
Effect on bone anabolism markers from daily cheese intake with and without vitamin K2: a randomized clinical trial, Prevention of nutrition and health BMJ (2022). DOI: 10.1135 / bmjnph-2022-000424

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British Medical Journal

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