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Health Fusion: A daily dose of yogurt may lower blood pressure

Could a daily dollop of yogurt help to lower your blood pressure? In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams checks out a new study that explores the yogurt and blood pressure control connection.

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Go ahead. Plop a dollop of yogurt on your cereal. The dairy food may help reduce your high blood pressure. Researchers from the University of South Australia and the University of Maine studied the possible connections between eating yogurt, blood pressure and cardiovascular risk factors. They found that yogurt is associated with lower blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure, or hypertension.

High blood pressure is a major health issue, because it raises your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that in the US, one person dies from cardiovascular disease every 36 seconds. High blood pressure is part of that issue.

“High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, so it’s important that we continue to find ways to reduce and regulate it,” says Dr. Alexandra Wade, an author of the study. “Dairy foods, especially yogurt, may be capable of reducing blood pressure. This is because dairy foods contain a range of micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which are involved in the regulation of blood pressure."

Wade says yogurt, in particular, contains bacteria that promote the release of proteins which lowers blood pressure. And that people in the study who ate small amounts saw benefits, and people who ate larger amounts saw even more benefit.

Researchers say more study is needed to explore the potential benefits of yogurt.

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For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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