Mmmmm. Cheese. Whether you're using it to improve a burger, grating it all over your pasta or eating 64 slices of it in one sitting, Homer Simpson-style, there's countless ways to enjoy delicious cheese that help to make every meal that little bit better. Hell, you can even get cheese in your cup of tea now, if you felt the need. What a time to be alive.
So with so much deliciousness as well as diversity (with different strains like mozzarella, gouda or camembert) in that deliciousness, what's keeping us from completely committing to cheese, abandoning all other foods in the process? Unfortunately, there are a few foods I guess I'd miss after a while, plus there's the idea that cheese, with all of its various fats and dairy, has got somewhat of a bad rep when it comes to your health.
But fellow cheese lovers, it might be time to rejoice: research has shown that cheese could actually help you to live longer! Surely, it cannot be! For more, let's refer to a study from Nature Medicine, who conducted some tests on some mice and rats, and found something rather interesting: cheese containing spermidine (aged cheeses like cheddar, gouda or parmesan) actually seemed to increase their lifespan.
Intrigued, the researchers then talked to around 800 people from Italy (which didn't invent cheese, but are probably the best nation in the world at making it), where they found that those who consumed a great deal of the chemical spermidine benefitted from tons of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Two things that will kill you dead, if you're not too fortunate.
"In humans, high levels of dietary spermidine, as assessed from food questionnaires, correlated with reduced blood pressure and a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. Our results suggest a new and feasible strategy for protection against cardiovascular disease."
So as long as you carry on eating cheese regularly, you'll be able to live that little bit longer, right? Hold your horses, though; don't shove that entire block of cheddar into your face hole. Put it down. Put it down, so we can talk. The scientists also noted that the effects of spermidine could be cancelled by the high fat content present in cheese, so maybe it's a case of swings and roundabouts.
Luckily, if you're looking to extend your lifespan, there are a few more key sources of spermidine, such as peas, corn, soy beans or whole grains. As you'll notice, though, none of these alternatives are cheese... so I'm pretty torn, to be honest with you.