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Low-Fat Dairy Products May Help Prevent Hypertension

Intake linked to lower systolic blood pressure, benefit seen in those consuming less saturated fat

WEDNESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Consuming low-fat dairy products may help prevent hypertension, according to a report published online June 26 in Hypertension.

Luc Djousse, M.D., M.P.H., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed prevalent hypertension and dairy intake in 4,797 men and women who took part in a national heart study.

Taking into account issues ranging from age to linoleic acid consumption, the researchers found that as dairy intake increased, prevalent hypertension decreased. Compared with those in the lowest quartile of dairy intake, those in the second, third and fourth quartiles had a lower prevalence odds of hypertension (odds ratios, 0.82, 0.68, and 0.62, respectively).

The link between dairy intake and blood pressure benefits was not associated with calcium intake, but was mainly seen in people consuming less saturated fat. Participants ingesting two daily servings or more of dairy products and more linoleic acid ran the lowest hypertension risk.

"Our data indicate an inverse association between dairy consumption and prevalent hypertension that was independent of dietary calcium, mainly among individuals consuming less saturated fat," the authors write. "This suggests that consumption of low-fat dairy products might be more beneficial for preventing hypertension."

The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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