Good news! It turns out dairy is good for us.
Except it's terrible for the environment.
Few foodstuffs face as much scientific controversy as dairy, with new and conflicting advice seemingly coming from all corners. And the latest research, presented this week at the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Munich, has led to one of the most sensational claims yet in support of the pro-dairy camp.
"[C]urrent guidelines to limit consumption of dairy products, especially cheese and yogurt, should be relaxed," pronounces the press release. We're pro-cheese, so we're in.
Dairy consumption has long been associated with increased risk of death, particularly from coronary heart disease or cerebrovascular disease, thanks to its high saturated fat content. However, after examining data from a huge study of nearly 25,000 people over 11 years, a team of scientists from the Medical University of Lodz, Poland found that dairy intake was associated with a lower risk of death from a wide range of causes. This conclusion was confirmed by looking at a meta-analysis of 12 studies, covering an even more massive 637,000 subjects over 15 years.
"[C]onsumption of all dairy products [was found] to be associated with a 2% lower total mortality risk and consumption of cheese to be associated with an 8% lower total mortality risk," the statement describing the findings explained.
Or, as NBC News tweeted:
Yes, you read that right.
Naturally, people were overjoyed at this news.
Some started imagining the dramatic scenarios people would be surviving now science has uncovered the life-saving properties of a well-chosen gouda.
Although we can't recommend some of the more reckless interpretations of the science.
Especially when you take into account the logistics.
Nevertheless, it looks like a lot of people are counting on the dairy aisle to help them stick around for a long, long time.
One person thought they'd found the fatal flaw in the headline.
But others were keen to provide "evidence" to support it.
It's actually not all good news for lactofans, as the study did find that milk was linked to a slightly increased risk of death from coronary heart disease – and while yogurt was originally thought to reduce overall mortality risk, further analysis of the data determined "[t]he yogurt finding... to be not significant."
Fairly obviously, an extra helping of cheese is also unlikely to stop a bullet unless you live in a Looney Tunes animation.
But just to be on the safe side...