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Can cheese help you live longer? A new study links one type to longevity

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Usually when a scientific study is done about cheese, the findings won’t exactly make you want to reach for the mac and cheddar. (In case you haven’t heard, dairy can be a big contributor to inflammation.) But in a study recently published in Nature Medicine Journal, not all cheese is created equal. In fact, one type of cheese was linked to a longer lifespan in mice. (And no, the study was not sponsored by Kraft.)

Scientists found that cheese containing the organic compound spermidine—namely, aged cheese like blue cheese—could lead to a stronger cardiovascular system, and in turn, a longer life. Mice who were given spermidine had lower blood pressure and better overall heart functioning. It was so successful that the lead researcher told Medical Daily he plans to try it with humans soon, and he expects to get the same results. And the good news about spermidine doesn’t stop there. A 2015 study found that it also can lead to better sleep.

Still, don’t expect your doctor to be prescribing you a plate of brie anytime soon. The study looked at one specific compound found in cheese and didn’t take into account what the food as a whole does to the entire body. But, hey, if they do want to test out those effects anytime soon, there probably won’t be a problem getting people to sign up. In the meantime, another place to find spermidine? Whole grains.

Wish there was a cheese that didn’t cause inflammation? You’re in luck—vegan cheese is taking over. And while you’re filling your grocery cart with foods linked to a longer life, here are some other things you’ll want to add to your shopping list.