It’s always dangerous to call a food or dietary additive a silver bullet, but recent research suggests that a component of some aged cheeses could be part of a diet that improves life longevity and reduces heart disease.

The cheese component is called spermidine, and it can also be found in mushrooms, whole grains, and some other foods.

In the research study conducted by a team at the Medical University of Graz in Austria, mice fed supplemental spermidine extended the lifespan of lab mice and improved heart function.

Specifically, the mice had lower blood pressure and higher rates of autophagy. Autophagy is a term that describes the degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional portions of cells. In the heart, this means that cells function more efficiently and correctly.

The study also looked at rats that were fed a high-salt diet and supplemented with spermidine to understand its benefit in parties that are susceptible to heart disease. They found supplemented rats had reduced systemic blood pressure and lower diastolic function.

The researchers were hopeful that these findings would translate to human studies as surveys have shown humans with high levels of dietary spermidine had lower blood pressure and fewer incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Add this cheese component to the list of healthful advantages of dairy products.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2016
December 5, 2016
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