In new research published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, the Norwegian researchers discovered that daily consumption of Jarlsberg cheese (a Norwegian cheese variety known to contain vitamin K2 in its menaquinone-7, MK-7, form) has the capacity to positively support key bone biomarkers beneficial for bone density in the long run.
During the study, which was set up in a crossover design, 66 healthy female participants were included, with one group consuming around 2 ounces (57 grams) of Jarlsberg cheese daily for six weeks, and the others consuming Camembert cheese. For context, one serving of cheese is about 1.5 ounces, so this amount of Jarlsberg consumption was normal (not crazy high). After the first six weeks, the participants switched and tested the other cheese. This is a relevant comparator since Camembert is not a good source of vitamin K2.
After a six-week period, researchers found that women consuming Jarlsberg cheese daily experienced a significant increase in vitamin K2 and key bone biomarkers related to bone building (i.e., mineralization and growth), while total and LDL cholesterol, as well as glycated hemoglobin (aka HbA1c) decreased. Meanwhile, these same markers remained unchanged or slightly decreased (i.e., bone biomarkers) in those who consumed Camembert cheese.
TL;DR: Jarlsberg cheese is a (delicious) functional food that, when regularly consumed, might have a positive impact on bone density and longevity, as well as benefit heart health. And it’s all thanks to vitamin K2.