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Yogurt lowers risk of high blood pressure in women

Posted:  Monday, March 07, 2016

Reduced risk of high blood pressure in women consuming yogurt

Yogurt reduces the risk of high blood pressure in women! Low salt intake and a healthy diet may limit the long-term risk of high blood pressure in adults. A new study funded by the National Dairy Council has shown that consumption of five or more servings of yogurt per week by women reduced the risk for high blood pressure compared to those who rarely ate yogurt.

This study was presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions. In this retrospective study, data on women participants aged 25-55 years were obtained from the two Nurses' Health Study cohorts (NHS and NHS II). Data on men aged between 40-75 years were procured from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The researchers documented 74,609 new cases of high blood pressure in the three study groups during 18-30 years of follow-up.

The number of servings of dairy products in a week, particularly yogurt was recorded. Additionally, subjects were scored to match their dietary pattern with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, an eating plan designed to lower blood pressure. The DASH diet includes intake of more fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans, other low-fat dairy products, and whole grains.

Interestingly, women from the NHS groups who ate five or more servings of yogurt per week had a 20% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. The observed effects were weaker among men; this may be attributed to lower intake of yogurt in men than women. In the pooled analysis, higher DASH scores and yogurt consumption of ≥5 per week had a 31% lower risk of high blood pressure compared with the lowest DASH scores and the lowest yogurt intake.

Moreover, the study findings indicated that the daily intake of milk and cheese had beneficial effects on blood pressure, but at a lower magnitude than yogurt. Justin Buendia, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts explained, "No one food is a magic bullet but adding yogurt to an otherwise healthy diet seems to help reduce the long-term risk of high blood pressure in women."

Future research may be directed towards investigating the impact of different types of yogurt on the risk of high blood pressure. Furthermore, the consumption of yogurt needs to be investigated in different racial subgroups.

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