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Yoghurt 'cuts blood pressure risk'

HealthBy Sunday World
Yoghurt 'cuts blood pressure risk'

If you're bored of cereal and have had it with porridge, it might be time to mix up your breakfast routine by adding in some yoghurt. That's because it's been found that women who fit the dairy treat into their diets at least five times a week and much less likely to suffer from high blood pressure, with the risk dropping by a fifth.

The study was vast, using data from 240,000 nurses, who were mainly women aged between 25 and 55. This was added to information gathered from 51,000 other people in the health professions, this time who were men aged mainly 40 to 75.

The research was funded by the National Dairy Council in America, with the findings that women who ate yoghurt five times or more a week had their high blood pressure risk cut by a fifth. The effect was more noticeable in women because guys don't tend to eat as much yoghurt.

On top of this, those whose diets were also full of fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts were even less likely to suffer the ailment. This group saw their threat slashed by 31 per cent, when compared to people who feasted on yoghurt just once monthly.

"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," Justin Buendia of Boston University School of Medicine, America, explained.

"I believe this is the largest study of its kind to date to evaluate the specific effects of yogurt on blood pressure."

The findings were presented at an American Heart Association conference, but at the moment there are no details about why yoghurt has such an impact on blood pressure.

High blood pressure is also known as hypertension and often goes untreated as people don't realise they are sufferers. However, it is a major health concern as it can cause heart failure, kidney disease, heart attack, dementia and stroke. In the UK it affects more than one in four adults, with five million thought to be secret sufferers.

Vessels need to have some pressure in them to keep the blood pumping around your body, but if there is too much there is an increased strain on arteries and the heart.

This isn't the first time yoghurt has been lauded for its health benefits. In the past the food has been linked to lowering cholesterol, helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels and guarding against brittle bone disease osteoporosis. That said, it's important you choose your dairy dessert carefully as some versions are crammed with fat, sugar and sweeteners.

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