Special Cheese May Fight Disease

TURKU, Finland, May 14 (UPI) — A Finnish researcher suggests adding cheese with probiotic bacteria to the diets of elderly people to help them fight infection and disease.

Lead author Dr. Fandi Ibrahim of the University of Turku in Finland says probiotics help the gastrointestinal tract — the main entry for bacteria cells into the body and where 70 percent of vital immunoglobulin cells are created — maintain immunity.

The ever-increasing elderly population, he explains, needs to fight immunosenescene — age-related immune system deterioration preceding infectious diseases, chronic inflammation disorders and cancers.

The study, published in Immunology & Medical Microbiology, found blood tests indicated signs of improved immunity in those who ate cheese with probiotics.

“We have demonstrated that the regular intake of probiotic cheese can help to boost the immune system and that including it in a regular diet may help to improve an elderly person’s immune response to external challenges,” Ibrahim says in a statement.

Ibrahim and colleagues tested the blood of residents of a home for the elderly between the ages of 72 and 103, who were given either one slice of placebo cheese or one slice probiotic Gouda cheese with breakfast for four weeks.

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