AHA: Yogurt helps lower BP

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HealthDay News -- Regular yogurt consumption as part of a healthy diet can help reduce the risk for developing hypertension, observational study findings suggest.

Eating one serving of yogurt every three days reduced the likelihood for developing hypertension by 31%, Huifen Wang, PhD, of Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues Huifen Wang, PhD, of Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues reported at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions in Washington, D.C.

They examined the longitudinal association of yogurt consumption with BP levels and hypertension prevention among 2,197 adults from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort who were free of hypertension at exam five of eight. The researchers assessed yogurt consumption using a validated food frequency questionnaire and performed three exams conducted from 1998-2001 to 2005-2008. 

At baseline, 44% of participants consumed at least one serving of yogurt per month and mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 117 mm Hg and 72 mm Hg, respectively. During 14 years of follow-up, 913 participants developed incident hypertension, while BP and yogurt intake both increased.

On the baseline food-frequency questionnaire, 44% of the participants reported that they ate yogurt at least once a month. During the 14 year follow-up period, overall BP rose and 913 of the participants developed hypertension.

Compared with non-consumers, people who had high yogurt intake -- defined as consumin more than 2% of total calories from yogurt -- had lower risk of incident hypertension (odds ratio [OR]=0.69), after adjusting for demographics, lifestyle factors and cholesterol-lowering medication use. The high-intake group had a significantly smaller annualized elevation of systolic BP than non-consumers (0.19 ± 0.09 mm Hg).

The longitudinal association between yogurt intake and annualized systolic BP change was strengthened by excluding antihypertensive medication users at follow-up.

"Higher yogurt intake, as part of a healthy diet pattern, may be beneficial for BP control and hypertension prevention," the researchers wrote.

The study was funded in part by research grants from the Dannon Company.


References

  1. Wang H et al. "Yogurt consumption, blood pressure, and incident hypertension: A longitudinal study in the Framingham Heart Study." Abstract #188. Presented at: American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions; Washington, D.C.
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