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This ‘Perfect Protein’ May Also Lower Blood Pressure, New Study Finds

Posted by Triple Naturals I On Feb 28, 2024
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You probably knew it was good for your gut, but a new study suggests this adored dairy may show a subtle link to healthy blood-pumping function.

Having high blood pressure is one of the factors that can lead to or worsen heart disease and diet is one of the most common ways doctors try to troubleshoot it. 

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One approach that’s often recommended to manage high blood pressure is the DASH diet, short for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” The DASH diet focuses largely on reducing sodium and unhealthy fat intake and can include several servings of low-fat and no-fat dairy products. However, conclusions from past research have been conflicted about the connection between dairy products and hypertension.

A new study published on February 8, 2024 in the Food Science & Nutrition journal found that a specific type of dairy was associated with healthier blood pressure values.

The researchers, based in Iran, set out to assess the connection between different types of dairy and the risk of high blood pressure among a sample of nearly 1,900 individuals with premature coronary artery disease and an average age of 55. The participants completed a questionnaire about their average daily intake of different types foods over the course of a year.

What the researchers found was that total dairy, low-fat dairy, and low-fat fermented dairy products did not significantly affect hypertension. When they looked closer at the different types of dairy products, only high-fat, fermented dairy products had an association with lower blood pressure.


The participants who reported consuming a moderate amount of high-fat fermented dairy products experienced a 34% lower risk of high blood pressure. The researchers stated: “Not only does fat content of dairy products determine health benefit of dairy products, but also manufacturing process, such as fermentation, has a key role to play. The fermentation procedure involves adding beneficial bacteria to dairy products which have antihypertensive properties.” In this study, non-fermented, high-fat dairy products, and even low-fat fermented products did not have the same benefits. 

One limitation of this study is that it was conducted among a selection of people who’d already been diagnosed with the onset of coronary heart disease.

Another issue is that in Iran, some of the low-fat dairy products that are a common part of the diet are also high in sodium, such as a customary drink called dough (sometimes spelled doogh) and specific types of fermented cheese. This could have confounded the results.

And for the rest of us, this probably doesn’t mean that it’s wise to load up on full-fat yogurt—or any full-fat dairy, for that matter, since these foods often are high in saturated fat. Perhaps the wiser takeaway is that fermented foods can have a systemic effect on health, and eating fermented foods likely means you’re eating a healthy diet in general, as the researchers stated: “A higher fermented dairy product intake was significantly associated with higher intakes of energy, total dairy, fruits and vegetables, proteins, total fat, calcium, and potassium.”

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In the end, the researchers state: “Moderate consumption of high-fat fermented dairy products, in a population with low consumption of dairy foods, might relate to reduced likelihood of [high blood pressure].”

Perhaps another worthwhile insight here: Protein is essential for all of us, and yogurt is considered one of the 10 “perfect proteins” because it contains all the amino acids the body needs.

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