London: Australian scientists have revealed that a daily dose of yoghurt can help prevent thickening of blood vessels in old age, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
In their study, women aged over 70 who included ‘moderate amounts’ of yoghurt in their diets were found to be significantly less likely to suffer from heart disease.
“Dairy products get a bit of a bad rap on cardiovascular disease. But there has been a demonstrated benefit in probiotic and yoghurt consumption,” the Daily Mail quoted dietician Kerry Ivey, who led the research at the Sir Charles Gardener Hospital, Perth, as saying.
“We’re trying to explore the benefits of yoghurt as distinct from its dairy characteristics,” she added.
It is believed that the product may work by increasing levels of HDL cholesterol – the so-called ‘good cholesterol’ – in the blood.
In the study, 1,080 women were questioned about their lifestyles and diets, and their carotid arteries were measured over three years.
Those who ate around 100g of yoghurt a day had healthier blood vessels.
More research is needed to explore its health-boosting properties, Ivey told the American Society for Nutrition journal.