On the other hand, it’s been an excellent week for cheese lovers. Lycotech, a Cambridge-based biotech company, think they may have uncovered one of the secrets behind the so-called “French paradox”. This is the puzzler that French folk, despite eating a high salt/saturated fat diet, are healthier and live longer than us Greggs pasty-munching lot.
The French get a fair portion of their saturated fat intake from eating cheese. Now it seems that, far from harming them, mouldy cheeses such as Roquefort are actually helping them. This is because it contains specific anti-inflammatory properties. This works in the acidic rich environments of the body such as the stomach and the skin surface.
Anti-inflammatory action is also the key to relieving arthritic joints and preventing the build up of plaque on artery walls. The team of doctors, led by Dr Ivan Petyaev and Dr Yuriy Bashmakov, said: “We hypothesise that cheese consumption, especially of moulded varieties, may contribute to the occurrence of the ‘French paradox’. They added: “Moulded cheeses, including Roquefort, may be even more favourable to cardiovascular health.”
This may lead, the team believe, to these anti-inflammatory factors being extracted and used independently or as a part of today's pharmaceutical or beauty products such as anti-ageing creams.
Beauty products? Now I don’t need a reason to eat more Roquefort, but I prefer to spread it on cheese biscuits rather than on my face.