Low fat dairy

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Low fat dairy may lower blood pressure - BPA comment

Older people who eat more low fat dairy products are less likely to develop high blood pressure, according to a new study in the Netherlands. [1]

The study followed 2245 people aged 55 or older, and found that those who consumed more quantities of dairy, particularly low fat dairy, had a much lower risk of high blood pressure over two years. When followed up again after six years, the risk reduction was lower but still present for people who ate more low fat dairy.

Mike Rich, Executive Director of UK charity the Blood Pressure Association, said: "While this study is further evidence that a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, there is not enough evidence to say that low fat dairy products alone can do this.

"So we wouldn't suggest that people need to start gulping down gallons of skimmed milk or other low-fat dairy products just yet. It's all about balance - opting for low fat in place of high fat dairy products, as part of a low-salt diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, will set you on your way to lifelong healthy blood pressure."

[1] Source: Engberink MF, et al. Inverse association between dairy intake and hypertension: the Rotterdam Study, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009; 89: 1-7

Notes to editors

For further information from the Blood Pressure Association, contact Anna Cureton at the BPA's Press office on 020 8772 4993 or at acureton@sgul.ac.uk

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