New Research Reveals That Cheese May Be the Secret to a Long and Happy Life

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Jun 20, 2024

Researchers in China have just discovered a massive genetic link between people who have long, healthy lives and those who indulge in life’s greatest pleasure: cheese.

The study concluded that the connection to better mental well-being and living longer and healthier is tied to certain lifestyle choices.

Researchers Combed Through Millions if European Genes

The study combed through millions of Europeans’ genes to connect the likelihood of eating copious amounts of cheese with living long, healthy lives.

A woman wearing a white lab coat looks into a microscope

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There are plenty more results from the study that show the clear connection between mental well-being and longevity of health.

Happiness Has a Positive Impact on Aging

Multiple studies note the clear connection between emotional happiness and aging well. In fact, happiness has a greater impact on aging than poor health habits like smoking.

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Other external factors, such as stress and socioeconomic factors, can have a much greater effect on the longevity of someone’s life.

Differences In the Current Study

The study by Chinese researchers took a different approach to the data. They used an analytical method known as Mendelian randomization, a tool for exploring which factors influence genes and lead to specific health outcomes.

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The method works to predict potentially causal effects without having to conduct in-depth clinical trials.

How the Researchers Looked at European Data

During the study, researchers looked at a subset of data from Europe that analyzed nutrition and food facts.

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The study included between 38,000 and 2.4 million individuals and found potential causal evidence between mental well-being, measured life satisfaction, mood, neuroticism, and depressive symptoms can increase life span.

The Study Shares Encouraging Evidence About Varied Life Choices

The authors concluded, “Our study offers encouraging evidence that enhancing mental well-being is a viable avenue to healthy aging, regardless of an individual’s [socioeconomic status].”

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The study ultimately shows that the reasons that someone can live a long and healthy life are within their control. Outside of random genetic factors, happiness plays one of the most vital roles. This is great news for people who value community and pursue their own personal goals for life satisfaction.


The Study Focused in on 33 Individuals

Within a subset of the study, researchers narrowed their focus to 33 individuals from European datasets.

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The team concluded that factors driving mental well-being and healthy aging include lifestyle factors like smoking, individual behaviours like medication use, physicality like muscle mass, and diseases like diabetes and cancer.


Cheese Came Into Play Quickly in the Study

All of the 33 individuals focused on in the study considered that eating cheese was more important than eating fruit and tended to have higher mental well-being scores.

A shelf at a store filled with multiple types of orange cheeses

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In addition to these findings, cheese had a 3.67 percent positive impact on their self-rated health and lifespans.


More Research Is Needed

More research is needed to determine whether the findings are true sufficiently. Usually, factors that increase life expectancy have some underlying factors.

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For instance, those in a better socio-economic standing usually live longer than those who experience poverty. The underlying factor here is that people with better financial standing can afford better medical care.


More Information Shows That High Fat Diets Aren’t All Bad

With the rise of ancestral diets and self-proclaimed carnivores, more studies have been conducted on the importance of healthy fats in a person’s diet.

The counter of a cheese shop filled with hard rind cheeses

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In moderation, dairy fat an lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Cheese Has Also Been Linked to Better Cognitive Function

A recent study conducted in Japan also showed the link between better cognitive function and greater cheese consumption.

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Research suggests that cheese can trigger the dopamine pathways in the brain, which triggers feelings of pleasure.


Harvard Scientists Agree With the Findings

A paper published in 2019 shows that optimism and happiness reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, creating a strong link to happiness and a longer life.

A general view of the Harvard University campus is seen on April 22, 2020, in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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For both men and women, happiness and optimism lowered all-cause mortality over a lifetime. It’s heartwarming to know that simple pleasures in life like cheese can ultimately result in better life-quality overall.