Cardiovascular health

Yogurt consumption can help to reduce the risk of hypertension

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A recent study among American adults found that dairy consumption, including yogurt, may help to control blood pressure and therefore contributes to reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.

American researchers examined the longitudinal association between dairy consumption and the changes in blood pressure (BP) as well as the risk of hypertension (HTN) incidence among 2.636 US adults, who have participated in the Framingham Heart Study and were free of HTN. Data on dietary intake and anti-hypertensive medication use were collected through food frequency questionnaires and self-reporting. Incident HTN was defined as follows: systolic BP (SBP)≥140 mmHg, or diastolic BP (DBP)≥90 mmHg or anti-hypertensive medication use.

Each additional yogurt serving associated with a 6% reduced risk

After the follow-up period, 1.026 participants were diagnosed with incident HTN. The research results show that a high consumption of total dairy foods, total low-fat/fat-free dairy foods, low-fat/skimmed milk and yoghurt were associated with a smaller increase in SBP and a lower risk of HTN incidence per year.

In contrast with the observed lower HTN incidence earlier during the follow-up (i.e. each additional serving/week of skimmed/low-fat milk intake was associated with a 2 % lower risk), the significance of this correlation seemed to be attenuated over time, with the exception of total dairy foods and yogurt. These findings suggest that skimmed/low-fat milk may delay the symptoms, but not lower the eventual risk of HTN as individuals get older. Whereas consuming 1 extra yogurt serving per week was related to a 6% reduced risk of developing incident HTN (P=0·01). Similar inverse associations were found for the consumption of total dairy (P=0·04) and fermented milk products (P=0·01).

Reference: Wang, H. et al., Longitudinal association of dairy consumption with the changes in blood pressure and the risk of incident hypertension: the Framingham Heart Study, British Journal of Nutrition, August 2015, pp. 1-13.

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