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Eating A Particular Type Of Cheese Could Help Prevent Osteoporosis: Study

Osteoporosis is the single major cause of bone problems in adults. It can affect anyone irrespective of gender; however, it is mostly reported in women. In addition, osteoporosis is a silent disease that is tough to detect.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, it is estimated that osteoporosis affects about 200 million women worldwide. Compared to men, women are much more likely to be affected by osteoporosis. The condition is commonly found in women because they quickly lose bone mass with age due to low bone density [1].

Following a proper and healthy diet comprised of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C helps prevent osteoporosis and breaking bones. Apart from proper exercise, a good diet is the most effective way to limit the condition's onset [2].

A recent study published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health journal divided 66 women into two groups and asked them to consume either two ounces of Jarlsberg cheese or around 1.75 ounces of Camembert cheese [3].

Cheese Could Help Prevent Osteoporosis: What Does The Study Say?

Researchers used Jarlsberg and Camembert cheeses in their study. Originally from Jarlsberg, Norway, Jarlsberg cheese is a mild cheese made from cow's milk with large, regular eyes. Camembert is a soft, creamy, surface-ripened cheese made from cow's milk. This cheese was first produced in Camembert, Normandy, in northwest France, in the late 18th century. The appearance and taste of this cheese can be compared to that of brie [4][5].

In the study, the participants were instructed to eat their assigned cheese for six weeks, followed by six weeks of eating the other cheese. After taking blood tests and considering certain variables, the researchers found that eating Jarlsberg cheese prevented bone loss.

Researchers found that women who consumed Jarlsberg cheese daily experienced a significant increase in vitamin K2 and bone biomarkers related to bone building (e.g., mineralisation and growth) over six weeks. At the same time, their total and LDL cholesterol levels and their glycated haemoglobin levels decreased. In contrast, the same markers remained unchanged or slightly decreased in those who consumed Camembert cheese.

The researchers also point out that Jarlsberg cheese may help prevent osteopenia- the stage before osteoporosis- as well as metabolic diseases such as diabetes. However, further research is needed to confirm this [6].

While both Jarlsberg and Camembert have similar fat and protein content, Jarlsberg is high in vitamin K2, which may improve bone health along with calcium and vitamin D. Therefore, Jarlsberg cheese may help prevent osteoporosis.

How to add Jarlsberg cheese to diet?

You can add Jarlsberg cheese to your daily diet by eating it instead of toast with butter. Then, make it even better by topping it with tomato and toasting it.

Is Jarlsberg cheese available in India?


On A Final Note...

Since this is a small study designed to explore novel pathways that link diet and bone health, the results must be interpreted cautiously since the study participants are not necessarily representative of other groups. Furthermore, the researchers added that it should not be construed as a recommendation to consume a particular type of cheese.

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