March 22, 2019
Natural yogurt with fresh raspberries, black currant and muesli.
Wellness Tip

Yogurt Reduces Heart Attacks and Strokes

by Wellness Letter  

Yogurt may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with high blood pressure, according to an observational study of 74,000 nurses and other health professionals with hypertension, published in the American Journal of Hypertension in February 2018.

Low-fat dairy foods are a key part of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure as well as cardiovascular risk. In the 1980s, participants filled out questionnaires about their usual dietary intake for the preceding year and then were followed for up to three decades. Those who reported consuming two or more servings of yogurt a week were about 20 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who rarely or never ate yogurt. The greatest risk reduction was seen in frequent yogurt eaters whose diets were closest to DASH. The researchers controlled for a variety of health- and diet-related factors.

Probiotic bacteria and certain compounds in fermented dairy foods like yogurt may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors, the researchers suggested.

A version of this article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

Also seeYogurt: A Calcium Powerhouse.