Effect of ewe’s (semi-skimmed and whole) and cow’s milk yogurt consumption on the lipid profile of control subjects: a crossover study
Yogurt is the most widely consumed fermented milk product worldwide. Studies have mainly used milk and dairy products from cow, which have a lower fat content than those from ewe and a different lipid profile. This study investigated the effect on the lipid profile of control subjects of three different set yogurts: (a) semi-skimmed ewe´s milk yogurt (2.8% milk fat); (b) whole ewe´s milk yogurt (5.8 % milk fat); (c) cow´s milk yogurt (3 % milk fat). A randomized crossover study included 30 healthy adults (16 women) to consume 250 g/yogurt/day during three consecutive 5-weeks periods separated by 4-week washouts. Blood samples were collected at the start and end of each period for the analysis of serum cholesterol (total, HDL-, LDL-) and triglycerides. We found no differences in the serum concentrations of lipid and lipoprotein fractions of the volunteers after the intake of any of the three types of yogurts. When the volunteers were grouped into two risk groups of risk according to their total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio, the same differences between the groups in terms of the cholesterol (HDL-, LDL-) and triglyceride responses at baseline and after yogurt intake were found, with no effects due to the different types of yogurts. Moreover, we performed compositional analysis of the yogurts including determination of protein, fat, minerals and fatty acids (FA). Contents in protein, calcium, magnesium, non-protein nitrogen and some FA (mainly short-chain-FA) were higher for ewe’s than for cow’s milk yogurt. n6-n3 ratio was lower in the ewe’s milk yogurt. In conclusion, yogurt intake, from ewe’s and cow’s milk, at levels of consumption compatible with a varied diet, neither decreases nor increases plasma lipoprotein cholesterol levels in apparently healthy individuals. As ewe’s milk yogurt has a high content of macro- and micronutrients, certain target populations could benefit from its consumption.