Blue cheese can protect against heart disease

Blue cheese – known for its mould and blue-green veins – has anti-inflammatory properties that can ward off heart diseases, scientists say.

The Roquefort cheese or blue cheese, aged in caves in the South of France, could be among the reasons why the French enjoy good health despite a diet high in saturated fat – a situation dubbed “The French Paradox”, researchers said. A process that occurs as the cheese ripens is good for a healthy gut, helps slow arthritis, and can slow the signs of ageing, such as cellulite, according to Cambridge-based biotech company Lycotec.

Researchers found that the properties of the blue cheese worked best in acidic environments, such as the lining of the stomach.

The research, led by Dr Ivan Petyaev and Dr Yuriy Bashmakov suggests regular consumption by the French of Roquefort, Camembert and other moulded fermented cheeses could be one of the reasons the nation has the lowest rate of cardiovascular mortality in the developed world.

Experts said Roquefort’s properties could be extracted and used in pharmaceutical and anti-ageing products.

“Observations indicate that consumption of red wine alone cannot explain the paradox and perhaps some other constituents of the typical French diet could be responsible for reduced cardiovascular mortality.

“We hypothesise that cheese consumption, especially of moulded varieties, may contribute to the occurrence of the ‘French paradox’,” researchers said.

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