A spoon of yoghurt a day could keep the doctor away

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If you are a fan of yoghurt this news will be music to your ears.

Researchers from a new study found that yoghurt helped lower the risk of developing high blood pressure in women who consume five or more servings a week, compared to women who hardly ate it.

High blood pressure is dangerous as it strains the heart and hardens arteries, raising the risk of brain haemorrhage and kidney issues. If it is not controlled it can often result in heart and kidney disease, stroke and blindness.

According to Medical News Today, previous studies have already identified that dairy can reduce risk of high blood pressure in at-risk adults. But this study is directed at the long-term look at the independent effects of yoghurt.

Lead Author Justin Buendia, PhD candidate at Boston University School of Medicine, says “I believe that this is the largest study of its kind to date to evaluate the specific effects of yoghurt on blood pressure.”

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“We followed over 170,000 participants for up to 30 years,” he says. “This study supports the importance of a healthy diet and dairy intake, especially yogurt, on blood pressure.”

Patients in the study were aged 25-55 and mainly female. After accounting for other factors – such as age, race, family history, physical activity, calories consumed and intake of protein, fruits and vegetables – a 20 per cent lower risk of high blood pressure was identified with higher yoghurt intake. With the optimal intake being five servings a week, approximately one cup of yoghurt per serving.

They also examined links between other dairy products and blood pressure, such as milk and cheese, but the outcome was not as significant as that of yoghurt.

Buendia identifies a number of factors that may be resulting in lower blood sugar, such as the impact of casen-derived tripeptides in yoghurt. As they have “shown in both animal and human studies to lower blood pressure via one of the systems that regulates blood pressure, the renin-angiostensin system”. Yoghurt also contains more calcium and potassium than other dairy products and these minerals have been previously associated with lower blood pressure.

The study was funded by the National Dairy Council, however they also made note that simply adding yoghurt to your diet will not reduce your risk. Yoghurt must be consumed as part of a healthy diet plan in order to reduce blood pressure and have positive effects.

“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,” Buendia says.

Do you love yoghurt?