The anti-atherosclerotic effects of traditional fermented cheese whey

Researchers from Xinjiang Medical University in China have found that traditional fermented cheese whey (TFCW), a common byproduct in the cheese-making process, has significant anti-atherosclerotic potential. Their findings, which appeared in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, also revealed that TFCW is able to improve lipid metabolism and protect the aorta of those already with atherosclerosis.

  • For this study, the team examined the anti-atherosclerotic properties of TFCW, as well as identified the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts present in the liquid.
  • In vivo testing involved rabbits that have been fed with an atherosclerosis-inducing diet for 12 weeks. The rabbits then received either a TFCW (25 mg/kg or 50 mg/kg) and simvastatin (20 mg/kg) which served as a positive control. All medications were administered orally once daily for four weeks.
  • After the experiment, researchers assessed body weight lipid profiles, C-reactive protein levels, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Theromatous plaques, as well as the number foam cells and infiltrating fibroblast cells were also studied.
  • To identify LAB and yeasts in TFCW, researchers determined these using conventional techniques and gene sequence analysis.
  • Both doses of TFCW were able to reduce markers that indicate atherosclerosis in rabbits compared to normal controls. A tissue analysis also revealed similar results, with VCAM-1 expression and plaque formation greatly reduced in rabbits treated with TFCW.
  • The LAB present in TFCW included Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus kefianofaciens, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus kefiri, and Lactococcus lactic. Two kinds of yeast – Saccharomyces unisporus and Issatchenkia orientalis – were also identified.

Researchers concluded that TFCW, with its LBA and yeast classes, possessed anti-atherosclerotic potential based on in vivo studies.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Nabi XH, Ma CY, Manaer T, Heizati M, Wulazibieke B, Aierken L. ANTI-ATHEROSCLEROTIC EFFECT OF TRADITIONAL FERMENTED CHEESE WHEY IN ATHEROSCLEROTIC RABBITS AND IDENTIFICATION OF PROBIOTICS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016;16(309). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1285-8

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