Say Cheese - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Thursday, May 8, 2003

Say Cheese

I'm Dr. David Vastola and most people don't realize Patrick is fairly sophisticated and part of that sophistication comes from the cheese that he eats. That's right he eats cheese, just like the French, the Italians, the Greeks - a lot of the people in the Mediterranean basin - they eat a lot of cheese. But the paradox is if you eat a lot of cheese don't you get lot of heart disease? Don't you die earlier? It turns out these people don't die earlier than we do, we die before they do. So why the paradox?

One of the reasons why the people who eat this live longer than we do might have something to do with vitamin D. The vitamin D comes from the milk that they use to make the cheese. It turns out that vitamin D neutralizes lithocolic acid. What's lithocolic acid? Lithocolic acid is a naturally occurring chemical in our gastrointestinal tract and it can lead to colon cancer. But the vitamin D that we find in cheese neutralizes that. So that may be part of the answer, by eating cheese you neutralize lithocolic acid, and by neutralizing that you have less colon cancer.

The bottom line? If you have risk factors for colon cancer, my advice to you is to eat cheese or get some vitamin D into you. You might even get it from the sun and living in Florida we have an added advantage. I think however, the Mediterranean diet is the way to go and cheese is an important part of that diet. So eat cheese for whatever reason, even if it comes down to your colon.

And I'm Dr. David Vastola and that's life.

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