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Yogurt intake beneficial for BP control in older adults: Study

Yogurt intake beneficial for BP control in older adults: Study

USA: A recent study suggests that habitual yogurt consumption can lower blood pressure in elderly with elevated levels. The study, published in the International Dairy Journal, was conducted by researchers Alexandra Wade of the University of South Australia, and UMaine researchers Benjamin Guenther, Fayeza Ahmed, and Merrill “Pete” Elias.

The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS), led by an international team, including researchers at the University of Maine, aimed to examine the association between yogurt and blood pressure in hypertensive and non-hypertensive individuals.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, and high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Diet has long been suggested as a means of lowering blood pressure levels and diets to improve health are very popular.

The MSLS team examined the relationship between yogurt consumption and blood pressure among older adults with and without high blood pressure. Researchers analyzed cross-sectional data for 915 adults (average age 62.1 years) from the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study. Approximately 62% of the sample had high blood pressure as defined as 140/90 mmHg.

Statistical analyses revealed modest but statistically significant reductions in systolic blood pressure among those with high blood pressure who consumed yogurt.

The MSLS study was the first to ask whether yogurt reduces blood pressure for persons who exhibit normal BP levels, according to the researchers. There was no improvement associated with eating yogurt in individuals with normal blood pressure.

The findings were before and after adjusting for the confounding by many other variables known to influence blood pressure, such as age, gender, education, diabetes, body mass index, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, exercise and other dietary variables.

Previous work by the MSLS investigators indicated a positive association between Mediterranean Diet and better cognitive function, and between other dairy products and lowering of blood pressure in persons free from history of stroke and kidney disease.

MSLS, focused on aging, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cognitive function, was launched in 1974 at Syracuse University by Elias and continued at the University of Maine for over 40 years. It has obtained longitudinal and cross-sectional data from young adulthood to the elder years for 1,000 individuals, and cross-sectional data for more than 2,400 individuals initially recruited from central New York and followed throughout the U.S.


The study titled, “Higher yogurt intake is associated with lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals: Cross-sectional findings from the Maine–Syracuse longitudinal study,” is published in the International Dairy Journal.


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