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The impact of raw fermented milk products on perceived health and mood among Dutch adults

Ton Baars (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Switzerland)
Catharina Berge (Berge Veterinary Consulting BVBA, Vollezele, Belgium)
Johan Garssen (Division of pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands and Nutricia Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Joris Verster (Division of pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands and Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands and Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Melbourne, Australia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 11 November 2019

244

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to evaluate health conditions prior to and at least two months after the start of consuming raw fermented milk (RFM) products.

Design/methodology/approach

One-Item health score, 1-item immunity score, immune status (ISQ), mood, bowel and skin conditions were rated for the period prior and post switching to RFM products. A linear mixed model was used to evaluate the post to prior RFM health and mood scores, taking into account gender, location of living and health group. Data from 390 participants (mean age of 54 years old) were included for the analysis, of which 277 (45 per cent) were allocated to the poor health group. Participants were allocated to the poor health group if they reported being immune depressed or suffering from a chronic disease prior to RFM; otherwise, they were allocated to the normal health group.

Findings

The highest intake of RFM was from RF kefir. Post RFM, people consumed around 1 glass (200 ml) of RF kefir per day. After switching to RFM, significant improvements on health and mood scores were reported. The strongest improvements after switching to RFM consumption were seen in subjects from the poor health group. With the exception of skin score, all measured health items significantly improved (p < 0.001). Health, immunity, bowel and mood scores increased with around 20 per cent in the poor health group and around 8 per cent in the normal health group. Women had more health complaints prior to RFM and had stronger health improvement post RFM compared to men. Bowel and mood scores were overall lower in women than in men. Living location had no significant impact on RFM-related health changes. This consumer survey suggests that positive health and mood changes are associated with the consumption of RFM products.

Originality/value

The consumption of RFM products improved the self-reported health status of adults. Immune-depressed people or people suffering from a chronic disease prior to RFM reported the strongest impact on their health, immunity, bowel and mood scores post switching RFM consumption compared to people with a normal health.

Keywords

Citation

Baars, T., Berge, C., Garssen, J. and Verster, J. (2019), "The impact of raw fermented milk products on perceived health and mood among Dutch adults", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 49 No. 6, pp. 1195-1206. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-12-2018-0347

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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