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J Hum Hypertens. 2010 Oct;24(10):678-83. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2010.4. Epub 2010 Feb 11.

The antihypertensive effect of fermented milk in individuals with prehypertension or borderline hypertension.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark.


Fermented milk (FM) with putative antihypertensive effect in humans could be an easy applicable lifestyle intervention against hypertension. The mode of action is supposed to be through active milk peptides, shown to possess in vitro ACE-inhibitory effect. Blood pressure (BP) reductions upto 23 mm Hg have been reported in spontaneously hypertensive rats fed FM. Results from human studies of the antihypertensive effect are inconsistent. However, many studies suffer from methodological weaknesses, as insufficient blinding and the use of office BP measurements. We conducted a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled study of the antihypertensive effect of Lactobacillus helveticus FM in 94 prehypertensive and borderline hypertensive subjects. The participants were randomised into three treatment groups with a daily intake of 150 ml of FM, 300 ml of FM or placebo (chemically acidified milk). The primary outcome was repeated 24-h ambulatory BP measurements. There were no statistically significant differences in the outcome between the groups (systolic BP (SBP), P=0.9; diastolic BP (DBP), P=0.2). However, the group receiving 300 ml FM had reduced BP across the 8-week period in several readings, which could be compatible with a minor antihypertensive effect. Heart rate and lipids remained unchanged between groups. Hence, our study does not support earlier studies measuring office BP-measurements, reporting antihypertensive effect of FM. Based on straight performed 24-h ambulatory BP measurements, milk fermented with Lactobacillus helveticus does not posses significant antihypertensive effect.

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