Dairy and inflammation on cognitive decline

Prospective international study of dairy and inflammation on cognitive decline

Research question

Cognitive decline is a major public health problem, but there is currently no effective treatment. Nutrition, in particular, dairy products, could play an important role in prevention through their anti-inflammatory properties. However, the evidence from prospective studies on the potential effect of dairy on cognition remains inconsistent due to differences in the amount and types of dairy consumed and lack of control for major confounders.
Therefore, we propose a large international study to assess the long-term effect of dairy product consumption and inflammatory diets on cognition.


1. Assess the long-term effect of different types of dairy products (fermented or unfermented, low or high fat) and cognition, as well as the effect dose-response and the mediating role of inflammation.
2. Identify an inflammatory diet and assess its effect on cognition.
3. Investigate the association between biomarkers of dairy product consumption and the development of cognitive decline to dementia.
4. Assess whether lactose intolerance genes are associated with cognition.


Project leader Dr. Patricia O. Chocano-Bedoya
Project team tbd
Doctoral student(s)
  • Experts in Nutrition:
    Prof Jürg-Hans Beer, MD, University of Zurich and Kantonsspital Baden, Switzerland
    Prof. Trudy Voortman, PhD, Erasmus University Medical Center, Netherlands
    Prof. Pedro Marques-Vidal, MD PhD, University of Lausanne and University Hospital of Lausanne,Switzerland
    Prof. Marco Vinceti, MD PhD, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Medical School, Modena, Italy and Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
    Prof. Arnaud Chiolero, MD PhD Population Health Laboratory (#PopHealthLab), University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland   
  • Experts in Cognition:
    Prof. Armin von Gunten, MPhil, MD, Service of Old-Age Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, CHUV|Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland
    Dr. Olivia Okereke, MD, SM, Director of Geriatric Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • Expert in Mendelian Randomization:
    Prof. Murielle Bochud Department of Epidemiology and Health Systems, Center for Primary Care and Public Health - Unisanté in Lausanne
  • Expert in Data Science and Metabolomics:
    Dr. Cristian Carmeli, PhD, Population Health Laboratory (#PopHealthLab), University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Expert in Clinical Research:
    Prof. Dr. Med, Nicolas Rodondi, MD MAS, Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland


Study start
March 2022
Study design
Secondary analysis of prospective cohorts
Funder(s) Swiss National Science Foundation