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The hidden benefits of cheese on mental health and life expectancy

© Azzedine Rouichi/Unsplash

Too fatty, too salty: that's what we often hear about cheese. Sad observation for the rest of us, French! Our country currently has more than 1 200 types of cheeses listed. It is as much a symbol of our country as it is a pillar of our diet. However, its consumption would not be so harmful to health if we are to believe this study carried out by researchers from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. Published on June 17 in the journal Nature Human Behavior, its results indicate that consuming more cheese could have a positive impact on mental health and, therefore, on healthy aging.

A rather unexpected discovery, resulting from an in-depth analysis of a immense amount of genetic data from people from Europe. This research was carried out by Tian-Ge Wang, an expert in genetics, and her team.

Cheese, this ally we didn't expect

To arrive at these conclusions, scientists used a method called “ two-sample Mendelian randomization » (RM). This is a scientific method using natural genetic variations to study the effects of certain factors on our health. By comparing data from two different groups, MR can determine whether these factors actually cause changes in health or if the results are due to other factors ;other influences.

Using MR, they analyzed data from eight separate datasets totaling a mammoth sample size corresponding to 2.3 million Europeans. The advantage of this analysis technique is that it makes it possible to distinguish with great finesse the true causal effects of the simple associations between the different factors linked to the mode of life and health.

Their work has highlighted a correlation that is intriguing to say the least: individuals reporting poor health mental health and increased resilience in the face of daily stress also consumed larger quantities of cheese. The researchers highlighted in their report: “ To guide health policies effectively, it is essential to have solid evidence on the socio-economic aspects influencing longevity and on the role of modifiable factors such as lifestyle and diseases “.

This discovery is of all the greater importance as it transcends the socio-economic factors traditionally associated with good mental health. Although higher income, a better level of education and professional achievement undeniably contribute to psychological well-being, the results of this study demonstrate that aging in good physical and mental health is not the prerogative of the wealthy classes.

The complexity of the interactions between lifestyle and life expectancy

The conclusions drawn by this research team go well beyond the simple consideration of cheese consumption. Indeed, scientists have identified no less than 33 factors influencing the spectrum of well-being and healthy aging. Among these multiple elements are varied behaviors and lifestyle choices such as the time spent watching television, smoking, the use of various medications, but also the presence of certain medical conditions such as heart failure or vascular accidents.

Within this host of factors, cheese consumption stands out with a positive impact of 3.67% on indicators linked to aging in good health, even surpassing the beneficial effect of 1.96% attributed to fruit consumption. Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle illustrated by excessive time spent in front of the small screen has a harmful impact of 7.39% on these same indices. Conclusion: turn off the TV, go for a walk and eat some cheese !

  • Eating more cheese would not necessarily be bad for the body.
  • A study conducted by researchers at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine established this observation.
  • Cheese consumption would therefore have a beneficial effect on mental health and aging.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116