This site is intended for health professionals only

Low-fat dairy may help lower blood pressure in adolescents

Consumption of low-fat dairy as part of the DASH diet (dietary approaches to stop hypertension), may help lower blood pressure in adolescents, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.  

Dr Judith Bryans, director of the Dairy Council said: "We are encouraged by the results of this study as it supports the inclusion of low-fat dairy in the diet and the positive role it plays in promoting healthy blood pressure in adolescents." 

The DASH diet, which is low in fat and sodium, and high in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, has previously been shown to be effective at lowering elevated blood pressure in adults. However, its efficacy in adolescents has not been ascertained until now.  

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the DASH diet compared to the routine care (RC) on adolescents with elevated BP. Currently, a single session of dietary counselling is routine care for adolescents with high blood pressure. Adolescents who were newly enrolled at a hypertension centre, and had been diagnosed with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension, were recruited for the study.

The researchers found that reductions in blood pressure were greater for those who had followed the DASH diet, and that 50% of them, compared to 36% of the RC group, had achieved blood pressure normalisation by post-treatment.