To the delight of fromage fans, cheese can actually help strengthen blood vessels against damage done by sodium, according to a new Penn State study. They say anti-oxidants found in dairy may have something to do with it. Researchers found that healthy adults with high levels of salt in their diet were more likely to suffer blood vessel dysfunction. But when these same adults added four servings of cheese a day to their regimen, they did not experience this effect. According to the American Heart Association, adults should consume 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day or, ideally, less. They say that too much dietary sodium can cause high blood pressure, a key harbinger of heart disease. “While there’s a big push to reduce dietary sodium, for a lot of people it’s difficult,” says doctoral student Billie Alba, who led the study which was supported with funding from the National Dairy Council. “[This] could be an alternative strategy to reduce cardiovascular risk and improve vessel health without necessarily reducing total sodium,” she tells Penn State News.