According to Science Daily, a remarkable study in Finland has demonstrated that the intake of cheese has immuno-enhancing powers on the elderly, and can actually thwart the effects of aging on the immune system.
A group of volunteers were asked to consume a slice of Gouda cheese-- laced with probiotic bacteria for four weeks. Probiotic bacteria in yogurt has been well documented to help mitigate a variety of problems ranging from yeast infections to other gastrointestinal ills. For two weeks prior, volunteers were given a control cheese and then again, for four weeks following as well. Through blood tests, Dr. Fandi Ibrahim and his team discovered that the phagocytic properties of NK cells, the warrior cells that kill off renegade abnormal cells, increased with the intake of cheese in the diet of these elderly individuals.
This study suggests that Immunosenescene, the deterioration of the body's inherent programming to fight off the bad guys, can be decelerated with daily consumption of cheese. Even with the control cheese, these findings were true. This dramatic discovery gives credence to cheese being not only a good food choice but perhaps puts it in the running for being a superfood and an important component in longevity and health.
Source: Wiley - Blackwell (2010, May 13). Cheese -- acting as 'carrier' for probiotic bacteria -- found to improve immune response of elderly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/05/100513071957.htm