Parmigiano Reggiano is good for our digestive system


The prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications has published a study confirming that Parmesan cheese enriches the microbiota residing in the human gastrointestinal tract.  The study coordinated by Professors Marco Ventura and Francesca Turroni of the University of Parma, aimed towards understanding the ecological origins and composition of the microbial communities of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Parmigiano Reggiano is a completely natural, healthy, and authentic product containing no additives or preservatives and is produced without any thermal treatments as it is made from unpasteurised, raw milk. The cheese, consequently, gives consumers the fragrances and flavours of the fodder eaten by the cows and of the milk used to make Italy’s most famous cheese.

Parmigiano Reggiano is therefore not only produced by 330 dairies, but also by science.

Parmigiano Reggiano is closely linked to its area of origin: the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua. It is a PDO product that owes its success to its age-old history, but also to the ideal microclimate in its production region that helps make this cheese so unique.

The study by the University of Parma has proven for the first time that Parmigiano Reggiano, as a vector of microbial strains that enrich the human gut microbiota, plays an important role as a functional food in the human diet.

The study was conducted by the Laboratory of Probiogenomics, Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, and by the “Microbiome Research Hub” Interdepartmental Research Centre, alongside the participation of a research group from the University of Parma.

This research project has made it possible to reconstruct a comprehensive profile of the microbiota of Parmigiano Reggiano.

The data obtained demonstrated the existence of bacteria that are transmitted from cow milk to humans during the consumption of Parmigiano Reggiano.

It highlights that consuming Parmigiano Reggiano not only plays an important nutritional role in the human diet – as has already been amply demonstrated – but also provides health benefits produced by the transmission of microorganisms capable of modulating and enriching human gut microbiota.

The study opens up a serious scientific debate about the origin of some types of bacteria considered unique to certain foods, therefore called food bacteria, and lays out the scientific foundation regarding their environmental origin and their transmission through the food chain.

Although the research is still ongoing, it can certainly be concluded that Parmigiano Reggiano enriches our microbiota with microorganisms that are beneficial to the gastrointestinal tract. However, in the future studies may go even further, as the presence of these microorganisms may have additional health benefits, considering the central role attributed to the gut as far as human well-being and health are concerned.

Discover more:

Parmigiano Reggiano by the numbers

  • 5 litres of milk make 1 kg of cheese
  • 24 months is the average ageing of the wheels, with 12 months being the minimum
  • 5 kg is the weight of a wheel
  • 520 litres of milk to make one wheel
  • 2,893 farms supplying milk to dairies
  • 335 dairies

My body knows better

Sometimes we don’t listen to our body’s messages…


When my body knows things my mind hasn’t realized yet: I always had a huge love for mussels, in any form and shape. I would buy them in 5 kilos bags, come home and clean them one by one, then put them in a large and tall pan, turn on the flame and add a bit of white wine, some garlic and some fine black pepper…and share with my family

Never understood this love for mussels, though. My mum hates them, my dad liked them but with no particular “addiction”, and only recently I found out I have a lack of intrinsic factor which is an enzyme that processes vitamin B12 and makes it available to the body. Guess what mussels are rich in?? I should listen more to my body, it knows best!

What is the signal you tend to ignore? The same way our bodies metabolize food, it also processes emotions and if there any of them that it can’t digest (the death of a loved one, losing your job, a nasty divorce…) that emotion with be sitting in some parts of your body and sooner or later will pop out in various forms, from a simple cold to more serious diseases.

In the same way, there are diseases that the body manifests and sends us signals about way before they are visible to any medical examination or specialized doctor: this is how easter medicine works, especially Ayurveda, in assessing illnesses of some parts of the body based on tiny signals from other parts of the body seemingly unrelated.

What can we do, then? Listen, with attention. Create silence even for a few minutes a day, nothing fancy, just absence of noise. And open your “inner ears” paying attention to hints and clues that would go otherwise unheard until the disease manifests itself.

There is always a reason to pop the Champagne!

Even when it takes a while to find one…

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There is always a reason for champagne…and if there isn’t, go find one!

Certain days I simply forgot to pat on my own shoulder and remind myself that just breathing and being able to smile is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. How many times do we realize we have something just when we are about to lose it? Be it our own health, money, a job, someone we are close to…the list is endless. But we don’t need to wait until we lose someone or something to realize how grateful we are for having them in our lives in the first place.

I would like to remind you to celebrate life, you don’t need champagne (but it helps, and as my friends reminds me all the time, it’s also gluten-free!). Even just a thought, a smile, a nod or tiny acknowledgement: I am lucky to be here, I always have a chance to make things right, or simply they will turn right without any action from me…how liberating.