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High Blood Pressure and Hypertension – Drinking low-fat Milk may help Lower Blood Pressure

June 27th, 2006

High Blood Pressure and Hypertension – Drinking low-fat Milk may help Lower Blood Pressure


Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston found that people who eat low-fat dairy along with a low-fat diet had lowered their blood pressure more than if they didn’t drink milk.  The study was first reported in the July issue of Hypertension which is published by the American Heart Association.

The systolic blood pressure reading, which is the top number, was lower when the people would eat low-fat dairy products.  The higher the systolic number the higher the risk for a person having heart disease.

The study consisted of collecting and analyzing data from 4,797 participants that answered a food questionnaire.  These participants are part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Family Heart Study.


The participants who reported eating more than 3 servings of dairy each day had a systolic blood pressure that was on average 2.6 points lower compared to participants who answered that they eat less than half of serving of dairy a day.

When the researchers narrowed down the participants that had an overall low-fat diet had the largest improvement in lowering their blood pressure.  The low-fat diet along with the low-fat dairy had lowered their systolic blood pressure on average 3.5 compared to those that ate the least amount of dairy each day.

The researchers also calculated other high blood pressure factors such as age, diabetes, body mass index, and heart disease.  There was a 36 percent lower chance for high blood pressure when including these factors of people that ate the most dairy products every day.


The researchers do not believe it is the calcium alone that is helping in lowering the blood pressure.  They suspect that the potassium and magnesium also may play a role in helping to control blood pressure. 

Another possibility as to why the low-fat dairy eaters have lower blood pressure is that they are eating a healthier diet all around.  Possibly, the participants that lack in eating dairy also lack elsewhere in their diets.  The researchers said that the participants that ate less dairy also ate more butter, hot dogs, and burgers.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:47 PM