Just listening to rheumatologists, gynaecologists and GPs talking about this question has made me fully conversant with the different treatments of osteoporosis - and the role played by the calcium + vitamin D combination in this battle…
1) Medicines are on no use if patients don’t take them – do you know that in France, one patient in every 5 does not go to get the medicines prescribed by their doctor? (But in the short term that’s good news for the national health budget here…)
2) The problem with osteoporosis is that it’s a hidden complaint: you don’t feel ill… and it does not affect your quality of life until …the first fracture.
3) Two factors in its reappearance: an insufficient intake of calcium + vitamin D (in the diet or prescribed as an additive) and an incomplete respect for the basic anti-osteoporosis treatment (getting tired of taking the medicine –as it does not seem to be working to improve your health).
And cheese in all this?
Yes of course, cheese is an important source of calcium. But not just for that reason (*) Lastly, certain cheeses do it better than others…
For instance, in 30 grams of Emmental you get 350 mg of calcium – but in the same quantity of Camembert, it’s only 140mg.
And what do we see? That these are cheeses where rennet plays an important role, more important than its starter cultures. To go from there to claim that the rennet encapsulates the calcium to form a sort of backbone for the cheese and to cause this cheese to become heavy is an easy conclusion to draw. I buy into it without a problem, knowing that we are not talking about a scientific debate (I’m no technician!) but that it’s just an imaginative way of talking about what happens…
If your bone density is a little deficient, go for the big cheeses rather than the little ones! Apart perhaps from Cantal or Cheddar type cheeses, where you may have noticed a rather high salt level, due to the introduction of fine salt when the cheese is formed … taste them …well… for their taste and their pleasurable truly unique texture…
Let’s take Emmental:
29% protein (casein)
29% lipids (yes, fatty matter…)
But only traces of carbohydrates: and no (or very little) sugars in cheese! All that has been removed with the whey or lactoserum…
0.3% salt (sodium chloride, an element added to preserve the cheese)
Vitamins A and B9 (among others)
of cholesterol – 2.7g of mono-saturated fatty acids …
So we’re not all made alike – As for me for instance, I’m someone who has eaten 1 to 2 kilos of cheese every week for the past 20 years, my last fat level check up in September was normal …a fact that will anger some of you, I am sure.
And above all, don’t forget that over 600 aromatic molecules have been identified in cheese!