Eating yogurt a few times a week may lower a person's chances of developing high blood pressure, according to new research.
The study included data from more than 2,100 adults from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort. Participants had been followed for more than 14 years.
At the beginning of the study none of the participants had high blood pressure, but by the end 913 of them developed high blood pressure.
Researchers Huifen Wang, a researcher in the Nutritional Epidemiology Laboratory at Tufts University found that participants who ate the most yogurt or at least one six ounce cup of low-fat yogurt every three days, were 31 percent less likely to develop hypertension compared to those who ate yogurt less than once a month.
Furthermore, researchers found that the high-intake group had a smaller rise in their systolic blood pressure.
Researchers said that while the study is only observational, and doesn't show that eating yogurt caused a drop in blood pressure, researcher said that yogurt is nonetheless good for health. Yogurt is rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium, which seem to play a role in regulating blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the artery walls as the blood pumps blood. If the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries rises and stays high over time, it can seriously damage the body in many ways.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, high blood pressure affects about 1 in 3 adults in the United States. Experts say that high blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms, and people can have it for years without knowing it.
However, high blood pressure can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts of the body. It is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems.
The study was presented at an American Heart Association conference and was funded by the Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the Dannon Company Inc.