—A Special Report from Victor Marchione, MD
Who doesn’t love cheese? Who doesn’t love positive news that involves cheese?
Most people know probiotics as the friendly bacteria advertised in yogurt and on the sides of supplement bottles. There is no doubt the health benefits of probiotics are huge and widespread.
What happens if you combine cheese with probiotics, in the same way that yogurt-makers do? Leave it to scientists in Finland to see how this might affect our health. These found that cheese, acting as “carrier” for probiotic bacteria, could help to restore the immune system.
Researchers found that cheese could help preserve and enhance the immune system of older adults, by carrying probiotics. The study shows that eating such cheese every day helps to tackle age-related changes in the immune system.
The team of investigators said that the overall aging population around the globe makes finding innovative ways to prevent the immune system from deteriorating a priority. Probiotic bacteria are known to enhance the immune response. Now, they’ve discovered that cheese can be a carrier of those same bacteria.
They believe that the probiotic cheese could help deal with “immunosenescene.” This age-related deterioration means the body is unable to kill tumor cells, as well as reduce the immune response to vaccinations and infections. Infectious diseases, chronic inflammation disorders and cancer are tied to immunosenescene.
The team targeted the gastrointestinal tract, which is the main entry point for bacteria cells into the body through food and drink. It’s also the site where 70% of vital immune cells are created. The researchers recruited volunteers between 72 and 103 years of age, who all lived in the same home, to eat one slice of either placebo or probiotic Gouda cheese with their breakfast for four weeks.
Blood tests were used to gauge the cheese’s effect. The results revealed a clear enhancement of natural and acquired immunity through the activation of “natural killer” immune cells among other activity.
They concluded that including probiotic cheese in a regular diet could improve an older adult’s immune response and protect him or her from external threats that can be fatal. Keep your eye out for probiotic cheese in the near future because, after this, it’s only a matter of time before it appears at a grocery store near you.