Roquefort
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Roquefort

What

Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial action able to play a protective role on the cardiovascular system, according to scientific studies.

How

For years now, researchers have been trying to find an answer to the so called French Paradox. French people in fact, despite having a diet rich in saturated fats, harmful to the heart, show a low incidence of cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. For a long time, it was considered that the red wine with its high content of resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, could explain this condition. However, in recent years, it has been understood that red wine alone cannot explain the paradox and the scientists have focused their attention on other habits. A few weeks ago, a research showed that the French model of being at the table in company, at fixed times, has a preventive role against overweight and obesity. But there is something else that could explain the French paradox. In particular, it seems that Roquefort blue cheese, a cheese made from sheep's milk, has a protective role on the cardiovascular system. This semi-hard cheese presents the characteristic blue veins, just like those of the Italian gorgonzola, produced by the development of a mold, the Penicillum Roqueforti. Based on scientific research (Petyaev et al, Med Hypotheses, 2012), during the ripening process, substances able to reduce the pro-inflammatory markers (these markers are C-reactive protein, interluekin 6, or the tumor necrosis factor alpha), and therefore inflammation, are developed. Moreover, the scientists have detected in Roquefort substances able to control blood pressure and cholesterol synthesis. According to another study (Petyaev et al, Scientific World Journal, 2013), it is also possible to observe the anti-inflammatory action of roquefort and also its ability, through a protein, to inhibit the propagation of infection of a bacterium, Chlamydia pneumoniae, one of the causes of lung diseases. But this observation has also implications on heart health. In fact, on the basis of several scientific studies, such as the work published in the prestigious journal The Lancet magazine in 1999, which paved the way to this type of research (Kontula et al), it seems that the chronic infection of Chlamydia pneumoniae is related to the development of atherosclerosis and to a higher risk of heart attack. These researches are still under development since it is still not clear the anti-chlamydia mechanism of Roquefort cheese, but if this data are clarified, this result may be an important step in understanding the correlation between diet and health.
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