THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Jarlsberg cheese consumption might have prophylactic effects on osteopenia and metabolic disease, and these effects appear to be specific to Jarlsberg cheese, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health.

Noting that daily intake of 57 g of Jarlsberg cheese has been shown to increase total serum osteocalcin (tOC), Helge Einar Lundberg, M.D., from Skjetten Medical Center in Norway, and colleagues examined whether this is a general or specific effect. Sixty-six healthy female volunteers were recruited; 41 were randomly allocated to daily intake of 57 g Jarlsberg (J-group) and 27 to daily intake of 25 to 50 g Camembert (C-group). The C-group was switched to Jarlsberg after six weeks.

The researchers found that after six weeks, procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide (PINP); tOC; carboxylated osteocalcin (cOC); the osteocalcin ratio, defined as the ratio between cOC and undercarboxylated osteocalcin; and vitamin K2 were significantly increased in the J-group. In the C-group, PINP remained unchanged. The other variables decreased slightly in the C-group, but after switching to Jarlsberg, they increased significantly. Neither group demonstrated changes in serum cross-linked C-telopeptide type I collagen. Both groups had slight increases in serum lipids. Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly reduced with switching to Jarlsberg. In the J-group, glycated hemoglobin, Ca++, and Mg++ were significantly reduced but unchanged in the C-group. Significant decreases were seen for glycated hemoglobin and Ca++ with switching to Jarlsberg.

“These effects reflect increased bone anabolism and a possible reduced risk of adverse metabolic outcomes,” the authors write.

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