The Digest - Feb 10

Ok I'm on gardening leave, which means I have more time to read more research, which also means I have more time to send you some interesting ones, so here's the second batch this week:  

  • Two new studies were just published regarding dairy, both with interesting results. The first study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, followed over 30,000 individuals in the Netherlands over a 15-year period, and in which researchers were looking for an association between the consumption of fermented products (primarily dairy) and mortality from a variety of causes, including cardiovascular (heart attacks and stroke), cancer, and all-cause mortality. The results were conclusive: there was no association found between the consumption of fermented products (primarily dairy) and mortality. In fact, the researchers found an inverse correlation between the consumption of fermented cheese and mortality from cardiovascular disease, and in particular stroke.^


  • The second study, also published in the British Journal of Nutrition, sought to test the impact of dairy consumption on circulating fatty acids and lipids levels in the blood. Bottom line: they saw a small increase in LDL cholesterol in subjects consuming commercial dairy products. But here's the catch: they clearly indicated in the description of the study that subjects consumed "commercial dairy". There have been numerous studies which have linked the consumption of commercial dairy with increased inflammation (which is why many people test positive for dairy intolerance); combined that with the fact that LDL cholesterol is an anti-inflammatory molecule (created by your body in response to increased inflammation), I'm not surprised to see an increase in LDL-C with consumption of "commercial dairy".^


  • In a new study published last week, researchers found that pre-packaged foods targeted towards 1-3-year old toddlers have alarmingly high levels of salt and sugar, in some cases matching those found in adult pre-packaged and fast-food products. While excessive intake of processed salt (primarily sodium) and sugar are certainly extremely detrimental to both children and adults, what's more alarming (at least in my mind) is that children set their future taste preferences based on what they consume at a very young age: let your 2-year old indulge in sweets and you're effectively sentencing them to a life of struggling with resisting sweet cravings.^


  • As many can testify, I always harp on the importance of developing a strong core (not just abs) for general physical health as well as sports performance (especially for triathletes, crossfitters, etc). A new study investigated the effect of core strength on shoulder strength, with interesting results: a fatigued core significantly affected shoulder strength in frontal and transverse movements, which should be of relevance to swimmers, Crossfitters, triathletes, etc. Work on that core!^


  • I like goat meat and dairy products, but that might be difficult to fathom for anyone not from the Mediterranean, Middle East, or parts of Asia and Africa. But goat meat is one of the most nutritious meats available to us, and goat dairy products are easier to digest and nutrient-dense as well. This article provides an overview of the numerous benefits of goat products, such as the fact that fat molecules in goat milk resemble those of humans, making them easier to digest. Goat milk is also much lower in lactose vs. cow milk, and has a much higher concentration of Vitamin A.^