The 12th FENS European Nutrition Conference will take place in Berlin, Germany from 20th to 23rd October 2015 and gather leading nutrition experts from around the world to discuss the latest developments in nutrition research. In conjunction with the conference, on 21st October a satellite symposium on "Regular Fat Dairy Foods in Nutrition and Health: The Latest insights" will present an update on the benefits.
Dietary guidance over the last 30 years has focused on dietary fat and saturated fat reduction to minimize the risk of metabolic diseases, especially heart disease. However, science is evolving and it seems today that saturated fat may not be the major issue, as was recently also confirmed by a WHO commissioned research group. Moreover emerging research highlights the importance of the food source of saturated fat and the matrix effect of foods. This is well illustrated with nutrient-rich regular fat dairy foods which have a different impact on several chronic disease outcomes from that which would be predicted based solely on their saturated fat content, as will be highlighted during this session.
In the first of four presentations, Professor Philippe Legrand (Director of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Human Nutrition in the Agronomic University of Rennes, France) will demonstrate that some saturated fats have important and specific biological roles. "A reassessment of the current nutritional fatty acid dietary recommendations is needed, as recently done in France with the ANSES opinion" emphasizes Prof. Legrand. "Moreover the importance of dietary sources of saturated fatty acids (SFA) should also be considered."
Professor Benoît Lamarche (Chair in Nutrition at the School of Nutrition, Laval University, Canada) will share results from recent meta-analyses and epidemiological studies having shown that SFA intake is not linked with CHD risk. "Results from many studies also suggest that dairy consumption is associated with a reduced
risk of cardiovascular disease" says Prof. Lamarche. His presentation will also demonstrate that associations between dairy products, including high-fat dairy products, and health are consistent with their impact on many cardiometabolic risk factors. "The focus on low-fat dairy products in current guidelines to limit dietary SFA intake needs to be revisited based on recent evidence in the literature" concludes Prof. Lamarche.
Following up on the benefits of dairy products, Dr Ulrika Ericson (Associate Researcher, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University Diabetes Center, Sweden) will update participants on the results of a 14-year study including 26,930 individuals (60% women), aged 45-74 years, from the population-based Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort. "High-fat dairy products were associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) at high intakes, but low-fat dairy products were not", says Dr Ulrika Ericson. "This suggests that dairy fat, at least partly, explains observed protective associations between dairy intake and T2D."
She adds: "Our observations did not show association between total dietary fat content and T2D, but intakes of saturated fatty acids with 4-10 carbons, lauric (C12:0) and myristic (C14:0) acid were associated with decreased risk."
The presentation by Professor Arne Astrup (Head of Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) will focus on cheese and metabolic diseases. "Among specific types of dairy products, cheese seems to exert a cardio-protective effect. Mechanistic research indicates that this health effect of cheese involves the food matrix, where the high calcium content plays an important role. Consequently, cheese should be recommended as an essential part of a heart-healthy diet" says Prof. Astrup.
International Dairy Federation (IDF)