Low-fat dairy may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with poor kidney function, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Poor kidney function can lead to disease of the small blood vessels surrounding the kidney, which can extend to large blood vessels and lead to CVD.
Dr Judith Bryans, Director of The Dairy Council and Registered Nutritionist, said: "This study suggests that dairy has a positive effect on the kidneys and cardiovascular disease risk, which is very encouraging as it provides further evidence of the important role of dairy foods when consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle."
The study investigated the relationship between patterns of food consumption and albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) in people without diagnosed CVD or diabetes. A high ACR means that proteins which are normally absorbed by the body are being excreted in the urine, indicating poor kidney function.
Dietary patterns were assessed using food frequency questionnaires, while urine samples were collected, analysed for albumin and creatinine, and then used to calculate ACR.
The researchers found that those consuming more low-fat dairy regardless of their overall diet, as well as those who consumed more low-fat dairy as part of a healthy diet including wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, had a lower ACR. This in turn indicated better kidney function and a lower risk of CVD.