In the cystic fibrosis diet, dairy products are often used to reach high-calorie targets, and new research has shown that it may be beneficial to focus on full-fat fermented dairy rather than regular dairy, because full-fat fermented dairy may cause less cardiovascular inflammation.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed fewer markers of inflammation in people eating full-fat fermented dairy vs. those eating regular full-fat dairy and those eating regular low-fat dairy.
The concentrations of six inflammatory and two atherogenic biomarkers known to be raised in CVD [cardiovascular disease] were measured as well as those of plasma F2-isoprostanes and lipid classes. The concentrations of six of the eight biomarkers tended to be higher on consumption of the low-fat dairy diet than on that of the fermented dairy diet.
Fermented dairy includes
- kefir milk
- sour cream
- creme fraiche
- cultured butter
Non-fermented dairy includes
- ice cream
What is Fermentation
Fermentation is the process by which certain strains of bacteria break down lactose and other sugars and starches in food. The result can be food with a robust amount of beneficial bacteria, preservation of the food, and when consumed, easier digestion of the food, and increased bioavailability of the nutrients in the food.
What are Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics are the health-promoting bacteria that are beneficial to the gut, and prebiotics are foods that survive the small intestine and become nourishment for those beneficial bacteria in the lower intestine. Here is a comprehensive blog post about pre- and probiotics, with a list of foods that fall into these categories.
Fermented Foods, Pro/Prebiotics and CF
People with cystic fibrosis receive frequent antibiotic treatment, which may interfere with their gut microbiota — the population of bacteria living in the intestines. A balanced gut microbiota defends against pathogens, comfortably digests food, and extracts nutrients from food. Significant research has also show a connection between gut microbiota and inflammation. One way to counteract the negative impact of antibiotics on the gut microbiota is to consume probiotic (fermented) and prebiotic foods.