JAPAN – A recent study conducted by Japanese researchers has suggested that the consumption of cheese may be linked to a reduced risk of dementia and lower cognitive function in older adults.
However, the study emphasizes that further research is needed to establish a definitive link between cheese intake and cognitive health.
The research involved cross-sectional data analysis and included more than 1,200 adults aged 65 or over.
The study was conducted as part of broader research commissioned by Japanese dairy major Meiji Co., Ltd. and partly funded by the company.
The researchers aimed to investigate whether cheese consumption had any association with cognitive function in older individuals.
The study analyzed data from 1,504 adults aged over 65 and found an inverse association between cheese intake and low cognitive function.
While research into the effects of milk and dairy product consumption on cognitive health has been ongoing for decades, scientists still lack sufficient evidence to conclusively prove that dairy consumption can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline, including conditions like dementia.
In this study, researchers focused on cheese consumption and its potential impact on cognitive function. They used MMSE scores (with lower cognitive function defined as a score of 23 or lower) and cross-sectional data from two cohort studies involving older adults in Tokyo.
Of the 1,516 participants, 1,504 reported consuming cheese, and the researchers conducted interviews to gather information on their diet, health status, and other variables.
The findings indicated that cheese intake was inversely associated with lower cognitive function, even after adjusting for various factors such as age, walking speed, calf circumference, and milk intake.
However, with several precautions considered, the study cautioned that it could not establish a causal relationship based on cross-sectional data alone.
The participants were categorized based on their frequency of cheese consumption, with some consuming it daily, once or twice a week, once every two days, and others rarely or not at all.
Processed cheese was the most commonly consumed type, followed by white mold cheese, fresh cheese, other unnamed cheese types, and blue mold cheese.
While the study hinted at a potential link between cheese intake and cognitive health, the researchers stressed the need for further investigation through large-scale longitudinal studies to determine a causal relationship definitively.
The study suggested that cheese consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline.
It underscored the importance of additional research to confirm these findings and provide more concrete evidence of the potential benefits of cheese on cognitive health in older adults.