Impact of buttermilk consumption on plasma lipids and surrogate markers of cholesterol homeostasis in men and women

STELA Dairy Research Center, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD (Impact Factor: 3.32). 06/2013; 23(12). DOI: 10.1016/j.numecd.2013.03.003
Source: PubMed


Sphingolipids (SL) are important components of the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) found in buttermilk. While studies in animal models suggest that dietary SL may have cholesterol-lowering properties, data in human are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of buttermilk consumption on plasma lipids and surrogate markers of cholesterol (C) homeostasis in humans.
Men and women (n = 34) with serum LDL-C <5.0 mmol/L at screening (mean LDL-C = 3.8 mmol/L) were recruited in this double-blinded randomized crossover placebo controlled study. Their diets were supplemented with 45 g/d of buttermilk and with 45 g/d of a macro/micronutrient matched placebo (4 weeks each in random order). Serum lipid concentrations and surrogate markers of cholesterol homeostasis were measured post diet and compared using mixed models for repeated measures. Consumption of buttermilk led to reduction in serum cholesterol (-3.1%, P = 0.019), LDL-C (-3.1%, P = 0.057) and triacylglycerol (-10.7%, P = 0.007). Buttermilk consumption increased plasma lathosterol concentrations (+12.1%, P = 0.001), but multiple regression analysis indicated that variations in β-sitosterol concentrations (P = 0.002) were the only significant predictor of the LDL-C response to buttermilk consumption.
Buttermilk consumption may be associated with reduced cholesterol concentrations in men and women, primarily through inhibition of intestinal absorption of cholesterol.
This trial is registered at as NCT01248026.

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    • "Meanwhile, the biological effects of the whole sweet buttermilk matrix remain poorly understood. A few well-controlled clinical trials provide support for the buttermilk health-benefits hypothesis (Baumgartner et al., 2013; Conway et al., 2013, 2014). The purpose of this review is to present recent advances in sweet buttermilk utilization and examine its status as a high-value by-product of dairy processing. "
    03/2014; 4(2):44-51. DOI:10.2527/af.2014-0014
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    • "In conclusion, data from this randomized trial reports that short-term supplementation with buttermilk (45 g/d)dpossibly through its high MFGM content and its effect on the ACE systemdlowers SBP in normotensive individuals. Combined with the buttermilk-induced reduction in plasma levels of total cholesterol and TGs in the same individuals [9], these data indicate that buttermilk may represent a new safe food modality to manage blood cholesterol and BP as part of healthy eating. Further studies are required to validate these observations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) found in buttermilk is rich in unique bioactive proteins. Several studies suggest that MFGM proteins possess biological activities such as cholesterol-lowering, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties, but data in humans are lacking. Furthermore, to our knowledge, no study has yet investigated the antihypertensive potential of MFGM proteins from buttermilk. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of buttermilk consumption on blood pressure and on markers of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAS) system in humans. Men and women (N = 34) with plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol < 5 mmol/L and normal blood pressure (< 140 mm Hg) were recruited in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Their diets were supplemented with 45 g/d of buttermilk and with 45 g/d of a macro-/micronutrient-matched placebo in random order (4 wk for each diet). Buttermilk consumption significantly reduced systolic blood pressure (-2.6 mm Hg; P = 0.009), mean arterial blood pressure (-1.7 mm Hg; P = 0.015), and plasma levels of the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (-10.9%; P = 0.003) compared with the placebo, but had no effect on plasma concentrations of angiotensin II and aldosterone. Short-term buttermilk consumption reduces blood pressure in normotensive individuals.
    Nutrition 10/2013; 30(1). DOI:10.1016/j.nut.2013.07.021 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and aims Earlier studies in our group suggested that traditionally prepared buttermilk influences cholesterol metabolism. We therefore designed a study to evaluate whether traditionally prepared buttermilk lowers serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and/or prevents the LDL-C raising effect of egg yolks. Methods and results Mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects were randomly allocated to one of four diet groups consuming daily at lunch 80 ml skimmed milk with (n = 23) or without (n = 25) lutein-enriched egg yolk (28 g from 1.5 eggs providing 323 mg cholesterol) or traditionally prepared buttermilk with (n = 23) or without (n = 21) lutein-enriched egg yolk during a 12 week period. Fasting blood samples were taken to measure concentrations of serum lipids, (apo)lipoproteins, liver and kidney function markers, and plasma lutein, zeaxanthin and high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP). Egg yolk consumption significantly increased serum total cholesterol (total-C) (p = 0.035) and LDL-C concentrations (p = 0.022). Buttermilk did not change the effects of egg yolk on serum lipids and (apo)lipoproteins. There was a trend towards significant lower total-C (p = 0.077), but not LDL-C (p = 0.204) concentrations in the buttermilk groups. Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations increased significantly (p < 0.001) in the egg yolk groups. Conclusion In mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects, daily consumption of traditionally prepared buttermilk for 12 weeks did not lower serum total-C or LDL-C concentrations, nor did it prevent the serum total-C and LDL-C raising effect of daily egg yolk consumption. Registration number: This study is registered at as NCT01566305.
    Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 10/2014; 25(2). DOI:10.1016/j.numecd.2014.10.003 · 3.32 Impact Factor
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