Yoghurt may help women fight blood pressure

Five or more servings of yoghurt a week are likely to help women in reducing the risk of having high blood pressure, finds a study.

Women who ate five or more servings of yoghurt per week, compared to those consuming one serving per month, had a 20 percent reduction in the risk of having high blood pressure, the results of the study showed.

Adding yoghurt to an otherwise healthy diet seems to reduce the long-term risk of high blood pressure in women.

“Our study shows that daily intake of dairy products, particularly yoghurt, lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure, which is a key risk factor for the development of heart diseases and strokes,” said lead author Justin Buendia, doctoral student at Boston University in US.

Moreover, several servings of milk and cheese each day can also have beneficial effects on blood pressure “although the effects of yoghurt seemed stronger than other forms of dairy”, Buendia noted.

To examine the long-term effects of yoghurt on high blood pressure in middle-aged adults, researchers analysed data of participants in two Nurses’ Health Study cohorts (NHS and NHS II),on women between 25-55 years of age, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study on men between 40-75 years of age.

The authors also evaluated whether the effects of consuming larger amounts of yoghurt were different among subjects with a healthy overall diet.

To do this, subjects were given a score to reflect how closely their diet matched that of a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans to lower blood pressure.

The benefit of five or more servings of yoghurt on the risk of high blood pressure was stronger than the DASH diet.

In the pooled analysis, men and women who had a higher DASH score and who consumed yoghurt five or more times per week had a 31 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure compared with those who had the lowest yoghurt intakes (one time per week) and the lowest DASH scores, the researchers claimed.