Fermented foods and cardiometabolic health: Definitions, current evidence, and future perspectives

Katherine J. Li*, Kathryn J. Burton-Pimentel, Guy Vergères, Edith J.M. Feskens, Elske M. Brouwer-Brolsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Unhealthy diets contribute to the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases. Annually, over 11 million deaths worldwide are attributed to dietary risk factors, with the vast majority of deaths resulting from cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs) including cardiovascular disease (∼10 million) and type II diabetes (∼339,000). As such, defining diets and dietary patterns that mitigate CMD risk is of great public health importance. Recently, the consumption of fermented foods has emerged as an important dietary strategy for improving cardiometabolic health. Fermented foods have been present in the human diet for over 10,000 years, but knowledge on whether their consumption benefits human health, and the molecular and microbiological mechanisms underpinning their purported health benefits, is relatively nascent. This review provides an overview of the definitions of fermented foods, types and qualities of fermented foods consumed in Europe and globally, possible mechanisms between the consumption of fermented foods and cardiometabolic health, as well as the current state of the epidemiological evidence on fermented food intake and cardiometabolic health. Finally, we outline future perspectives and opportunities for improving the role of fermented foods in human diets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number976020
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2022


  • biomarkers
  • cardiometabolic disease
  • dietary assessment
  • fermented foods
  • microorganisms


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