The study found the compounds to lower serum total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and triglycerides in mice.
Triglycerides are fat in the blood, high levels of which have been linked to a greater chance of heart disease.
“We are beginning to understand that dairy products provide benefits to human health beyond the traditional nutrients,” said Matt Lucy, editor-in-chief of Journal of Dairy Science, where the study was published.
“This study performed in laboratory animals demonstrates the potential for milk proteins found in naturally fermented foods to improve human cardiovascular health,” Lucy, who is also a professor of animal science at the University of Missouri in the US, added.
In the study, researchers from Korea University and the Chonbuk National University in South Korea found that the dietary compounds in milk-based products protected the mice against lung disease acute pulmonary thromboembolism as well as aspirin, but without the possible bleeding consequences often observed in aspirin therapy.
“This is the first report describing the verification for the impacts of Maillard reaction products (MRPs) and their fermented product in cardiovascular risk using animal model,” lead investigator Younghoon Kim from the Chonbuk National University, pointed out.
“In addition, our findings represent a real advance in the area of milk proteins” and indicate that they could be recommended for use as potential antioxidants and cardioprotective ingredients for various functional, pharmaceutical, and dairy applications.