Dairy products and inflammation: A review of the clinical evidence

Alessandra Bordoni, Francesca Danesi, Dominique Dardevet, Didier Dupont, Aida S. Fernandez, Doreen Gille, Claudia Nunes dos Santos, Paula Pinto, Roberta Re, Didier Rémond, Danit R. Shahar, Guy Vergères

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Inflammation is a major biological process regulating the interaction between organisms and the environment, including the diet. Because of the increase in chronic inflammatory diseases, and in light of the immune-regulatory properties of breastfeeding, the ability of dairy products to modulate inflammatory processes in humans is an important but unresolved issue. Here, we report a systematic review of 52 clinical trials investigating inflammatory markers in relation to the consumption of dairy products. An inflammatory score (IS) was defined to quantitatively evaluate this interaction. The IS was significantly positive for the entire data set, indicating an anti-inflammatory activity in humans. When the subjects were stratified according to their health status, the IS was strongly indicative of an anti-inflammatory activity in subjects with metabolic disorders and of a pro-inflammatory activity in subjects allergic to bovine milk. Stratifying the data by product categories associated both low-fat and high-fat products, as well as fermented products, with an anti-inflammatory activity. Remarkably, the literature is characterized by a large gap in knowledge on bioavailability of bioactive nutrients. Future research should thus better combine food and nutritional sciences to adequately follow the fate of these nutrients along the gastrointestinal and metabolic axes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2497-2525
Number of pages29
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - 13 Aug 2017


  • Milk
  • cheese
  • chronic diseases
  • health
  • immune system
  • obesity
  • yoghurt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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