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J Food Sci. 2011 May;76(4):H131-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02127.x. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Yogurt can beneficially affect blood contributors of cardiovascular health status in hypertensive rats.

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School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, Victoria Univ., Werribee Campus, P.O. Box 14428, Melbourne, Vic. 8001, Australia.


Cardiovascular disease is the single leading cause of death in the world and elevated blood pressure is one of the major independent risk factors. Angiotensin-I-converting enzyme-inhibitors have received considerable attention for their effectiveness in both the prevention and the treatment of hypertension. To confirm the antihypertensive effect, the influence of yogurt- and probiotic yogurt-based diets on the weight gain, serum lipid profile, and blood pressure (BP) were investigated in spontaneously hypertensive rats (14 wk old). A total of 3 dietary treatments were fed for 8 wk: skim milk diet (Feed-C), skim milk diet supplemented with freeze dried low fat yogurt (Feed-Y), and with freeze dried low-fat probiotic yogurt (Feed-PY). The total weight gain for the 8-wk period was maximum in rats fed Feed-C (90 g) followed by those fed Feed-PY (85.7 g) and Feed-Y (78.7 g), indicating that the overall weight gains were lesser (statistically non-significant) in the groups fed yogurt containing diets. At the end of the feeding period the reduction in systolic BP of rats fed Feed-Y was 3.7% (-9.5 mm Hg) and 2.7% (-6.4 mm Hg) in those fed Feed-PY while reduction in diastolic BP was 30% (-9.4 mm Hg) and 44% (-13.8 mm Hg), respectively, in comparison to those fed Feed-C. The levels of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol of rats fed the supplemented diets were lower than those fed Feed-C while no changes in the levels of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol were observed. It was concluded that feeding diets supplemented with yogurts exhibited antihypertensive and hypocholesterolemic effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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