Research Topic

Dairy Fat, Health and the Role of Matrix Effects

About this Research Topic

Dairy fat is usually summarized as consisting of approximately 70% saturated fatty acids, of which about 11% is myristic acid (14:0) and 29% is palmitic acid (16:0). These two fatty acids increase the level of cholesterol-rich low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) in plasma, which can lead to excessive subendothelial retention and subsequently atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease.

Evidence from human dietary intervention studies has shown that chronic intake of butter increases LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) in plasma, whereas cheese appears to have less pronounced effects when matched for saturated fat. Evidence from epidemiological studies on dairy products and risk of CVD or mortality is inconclusive, with several recent meta-analyses even reporting that fermented dairy products, including full-fat ones such as cheese, are associated with lower risks.

The contradictory results obtained from observational studies about dairy fat impact on health outcomes, as well as the differential effects observed between different dairy products in intervention studies, can be explained by the fact that dairy fat composition is complex, and dairy products are a heterogeneous food group with major differences in nutrient composition. Dairy fat is rich in a wide variety of fatty acids beyond saturated ones and specific bioactive lipids. Moreover, the nutrient content naturally differs between dairy products, and different food structures and industrial processes impact the nutrients in dairy products and their interactions, and may thereby affect metabolic responses. In order to understand the health effects of dairy products, it is necessary to improve knowledge of the impact of short and long-term intake of different dairy products on multiple health outcomes.

The scope of this Research Topic is therefore to focus on the health effects of specific dairy food products and food groups (fermented and non-fermented, high fat and low fat dairy), as well as the association between specific lipids in dairy fat and health outcomes. We welcome original human dietary intervention studies in the postprandial state as well as more long term intervention studies. Original Research including observational studies and animal studies, as well as Reviews are also of interest.

Stine Marie Ulven has received research fund from TINE BA, the largest dairy company in Norway the last 5 years. Marie-Caroline Michalski has received research fund from CNIEL (French Dairy Interbranch Organization), Danone Nutricia Research and Sodiaal-Candia R&I the last 5 years. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Saturated Fat, Fermented, Lipids, Cardiovascular Disease, Butter, Cheese


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Dairy fat is usually summarized as consisting of approximately 70% saturated fatty acids, of which about 11% is myristic acid (14:0) and 29% is palmitic acid (16:0). These two fatty acids increase the level of cholesterol-rich low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) in plasma, which can lead to excessive subendothelial retention and subsequently atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease.

Evidence from human dietary intervention studies has shown that chronic intake of butter increases LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) in plasma, whereas cheese appears to have less pronounced effects when matched for saturated fat. Evidence from epidemiological studies on dairy products and risk of CVD or mortality is inconclusive, with several recent meta-analyses even reporting that fermented dairy products, including full-fat ones such as cheese, are associated with lower risks.

The contradictory results obtained from observational studies about dairy fat impact on health outcomes, as well as the differential effects observed between different dairy products in intervention studies, can be explained by the fact that dairy fat composition is complex, and dairy products are a heterogeneous food group with major differences in nutrient composition. Dairy fat is rich in a wide variety of fatty acids beyond saturated ones and specific bioactive lipids. Moreover, the nutrient content naturally differs between dairy products, and different food structures and industrial processes impact the nutrients in dairy products and their interactions, and may thereby affect metabolic responses. In order to understand the health effects of dairy products, it is necessary to improve knowledge of the impact of short and long-term intake of different dairy products on multiple health outcomes.

The scope of this Research Topic is therefore to focus on the health effects of specific dairy food products and food groups (fermented and non-fermented, high fat and low fat dairy), as well as the association between specific lipids in dairy fat and health outcomes. We welcome original human dietary intervention studies in the postprandial state as well as more long term intervention studies. Original Research including observational studies and animal studies, as well as Reviews are also of interest.

Stine Marie Ulven has received research fund from TINE BA, the largest dairy company in Norway the last 5 years. Marie-Caroline Michalski has received research fund from CNIEL (French Dairy Interbranch Organization), Danone Nutricia Research and Sodiaal-Candia R&I the last 5 years. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Saturated Fat, Fermented, Lipids, Cardiovascular Disease, Butter, Cheese


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

11 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

11 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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