Research we're watching
People who eat more dairy fat — which is plentiful in whole milk, yogurt, and cheese — may be less likely to develop heart disease than people who eat smaller amounts of dairy, a new study suggests.
For the study, researchers measured blood levels of a fatty acid found mostly in dairy foods in 4,150 60-year‑olds in Sweden, a county known for its love of dairy-based foods. After an average follow-up of 16.6 years, they found that people with the highest levels of the fatty acid had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease. The study authors confirmed these findings after combining the Swedish results with similar data from the United States, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. The study was published in the Sept. 21, 2021, issue of PLOS Medicine.
While the findings don’t prove that dairy fat protects against cardiovascular problems, it suggests that full-fat dairy products may be less harmful to heart health than experts have assumed.
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