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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Available from: Valérie Conway, Apr 27, 2015
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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. "

    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014
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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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