Can eating yoghurt reduce cardiovascular disease risk?

Can eating yoghurt reduce cardiovascular disease risk?
High dairy consumption has been associated with beneficial effects on heart disease-related comorbidities

A higher intake of yoghurt is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease amongst hypertensive men and women, a new study published by Oxford University Press suggests.

Clinical trials have previously demonstrated that dairy consumption has a positive effect on cardiovascular health. Yoghurt may independently be related to cardiovascular disease risk.

High dairy consumption has been associated with beneficial effects on heart disease-related comorbidities such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and insulin resistance.

The biggest risk for cardiovascular disease is high blood pressure, which affects around one billion people worldwide and may cause major cardiovascular disease risk.

Combining two study groups

The current analyses comprised over 55,000 women aged 30-55 with high blood pressure from the Nurses’ Health Study and 18,000 men aged 40-75 from the Health Professionals Follow-Up study.

In the Nurses’ Health Study, participants were asked to report usual dietary intake in the preceding year and subsequently reported any interim physician diagnosed events, including stroke, myocardial infarction, and revascularisation.

What did the research find?

It was found that higher intakes of yoghurt were associated with a 30% reduction in risk of myocardial infarction among the women in the Nurses’ Health Study and a 19% reduction in the men involved in the Health Professionals Follow-Up study.

In both groups, participants who consumed over two servings a week of yoghurt had an approximately 20% lower risk of major coronary heart disease or stroke during the follow-up period.

Justin Buendia, one of the paper’s authors, said: “We hypothesised that long-term yoghurt intake might reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems since some previous small studies had shown beneficial effects of fermented dairy products.

“Here, we had a very large cohort of hypertensive men and women, who were followed for up to 30 years. Our results provide important new evidence that yoghurt may benefit heart health alone or as a consistent part of a diet rich in fibre-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”

The study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

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