The French blue cheese, Roquefort, which is matured in caves, has ‘anti-inflammatory properties’ that guard against cardiovascular disease, according to new research being carried out in the UK.
The discovery, by biotechnologists at Cambridge-based company Lycotec, say the cheese, which is matured in caves, may be the miracle food behind the French health paradox – eating a diet rich in fat but still remaining slim with the lowest rate of cardiovascular disease in Europe.
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 researchers Dr Ivan Petyaev and Dr Yuriy Bashmakov.
Researchers found that the properties of the blue cheese worked best in acidic environments, such as the lining of the stomach.
‘We hypothesise that cheese consumption, especially of moulded varieties, may contribute to the occurrence of the “French paradox,” they said in a report.
Their research concludes that 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.
The experts said Roquefort’s properties could be extracted and used in pharmaceutical and anti-ageing products.
The report stated: ‘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.”