Cheese and yogurt, once considered guilty pleasures, are now in the spotlight for their potential role in combating hypertension, a condition that plagues nearly 120 million U.S. adults.
Exploring the Link Between Cheese, Yogurt, and Blood Pressure
According to the report featured by the Healthline, in October 19, 2023, hypertension, or high blood pressure, significantly raises the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease. While traditional treatments involve lifestyle changes and medications, a recent study, albeit on a small scale, suggests that two strains of probiotics found in cheese and yogurt may offer a protective shield against hypertension. However, experts caution that the research is in its infancy, with only 29 mice as study subjects, leaving many questions about the applicability to humans unanswered.
Previous research has hinted at the potential benefits of probiotics such as cheese and yogurt in managing hypertension. The American Heart Association’s 2017 guidelines noted that consuming fermented milk with inhibitory peptides might reduce blood pressure. More recent studies have indicated a modest reduction in blood pressure in individuals who took probiotic supplements, especially those with diabetes.
The latest research, published in mSystems, takes a closer look at the effects of Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, both commonly found in cheese and yogurt. The study showed that these probiotics might help maintain normal blood pressure levels, although the exact mechanisms remain a puzzle.
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Managing Hypertension Through Lifestyle Changes
In a report published by Medical News Today, while the potential of probiotics in cheese and yogurt is intriguing, maintaining healthy blood pressure involves more than dietary choices. High blood pressure can lead to severe health issues, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss, and cognitive impairment. With less than a quarter of adults having their hypertension under control, lifestyle changes are crucial.
Experts recommend weight management, smoking cessation, regular exercise, stress reduction, and reducing salt intake. New research suggests that activities like squats can help lower blood pressure, while the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise weekly. Limiting salt intake, ideally to less than 1,500 milligrams per day, is another key element in managing blood pressure. However, the role of probiotics like cheese and yogurt in this complex health equation remains uncertain, emphasizing the importance of further research and consultation with healthcare professionals.
Relationship between probiotics in cheese and yogurt and hypertension is a promising avenue of research. While preliminary findings suggest a potential link, this study is just a small step on a long road. Hypertension is a critical health issue, and managing it effectively involves a multifaceted approach. The journey to understanding how cheese and yogurt may play a role in blood pressure management is ongoing, leaving room for optimism but also highlighting the importance of comprehensive healthcare and lifestyle choices in hypertension management.