Yogurt has long been recognized for it many benefits, especially when it comes to the gastrointestinal tract.
Now, current research says it may also prevent high blood pressure.
A study conducted at Tufts University in Boston, revealed that people who ate at least one serving of yogurt every three days had a 31% lower risk of developing hypertension versus people who avoided the stuff.
The protection increased as the subjects upped their intake of this non-fat dairy product.
How it lowers hypertension
How can yogurt prevent hypertension? Yogurt contains probiotics.
These are live microorganisms that benefit the body in several ways. The “good” organisms prevent the overgrowth of the “bad” bacteria in the intestinal canal, thus preventing diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and lactose intolerance.
Recent data shows that probiotics also provide protection beyond the digestive system. They prevent certain metabolic disorders such as hypertension and even diabetes.
The presence of the organisms on the surface of the intestinal cells acts as a barrier that decreases the body’s absorption of cholesterol and sugars from the food we eat.
High cholesterol levels contribute to the development of high blood pressure.
Probiotics also induce a series of immune responses to prevent the release of renin. Renin is an enzyme produced by the kidney which induces high blood pressure.
Although the explanation may sound technical, the call to action is obvious: take a serving of yogurt every day to stay healthy.
I’m glad there’s yogurt. An apple a day was getting to be a wee bit boring.
Dr. Diana Sarmiento is a mother of three, part-time doctor, and a full-time wife and mother. The topics closest to her heart are women’s health, parenting, and any new information that she can get her hands on. Read more on her personal blog, Filipina M.D.