Dairy fat in cheese raises LDL cholesterol less than that in butter in mildly hypercholesterolaemic subjects.Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep; 59(9):1059-63.EJ
To determine whether dairy fat in cheese raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol as much as in butter, since epidemiology suggests a different impact on cardiovascular disease.
A randomised crossover trial testing the daily consumption of 40 g dairy fat as butter or as matured cheddar cheese, each of 4 weeks duration, was preceded by and separated by 2-week periods when dietary fat was less saturated.
A total of 14 men and five women of mean age 56+/-8 y, with mean total cholesterol of 5.6+/-0.8 mmol/l.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), triacylglycerol and glucose.
Saturated fat intake was significantly lower during the run-in than during the cheese and butter periods. Mean lipid values did not differ significantly between the cheese and run-in periods, but total cholesterol and LDL-C were significantly higher with butter: total cholesterol (mmol/l): butter 6.1+/-0.7; run-in 5.6+/-0.8 (P < 0.05; ANOVA with Bonferroni adjustment); vs cheese 5.8+/-0.6 (P > 0.05); median LDL-C (mmol/l): butter 3.9 (3.5-4.1) vs run-in 3.4 (3.0-4.1) (P < 0.05; Tukey test); vs cheese 3.7 (3.3-3.9) (P > 0.05). Among 13 subjects whose initial LDL-C was >4 mmol/l, the difference between butter (4.4+/-0.3 mmol/l) and cheese (3.9+/-0.3 mmol/l) was significant (P = 0.014). HDL-C was highest with butter and triacylglycerol with cheese (neither was significant).
A total of 40 g dairy fat eaten daily for 4 weeks as butter, but not as cheese, raised total and LDL cholesterol significantly compared with a diet containing significantly less saturated fat. Dietary advice regarding cheese consumption may require modification.