Yogurt benefits to heart health

Yogurt with live and active cultures supports the naturally occurring good bacteria in the intestinal tract. Yogurt is high in calcium and protein. It is a nutrient dense food and can be made in whole-fat and low-fat varieties.

Yogurt that is cultured with gut-friendly bacteria may help you stay well during a course of antibiotics, but what can it do for your heart? A new study found that older women who regularly ate yogurt had less thickening of the carotid arteries’ walls. Thickening of these arterial walls is a sign of atherosclerosis and has been linked to higher risk of stroke and heart attack.

Researchers from Japan analyzed dietary intakes from nearly 1,000 adults and found those who consumed the highest levels of dairy—specifically yogurt and yogurt-type drinks—had the healthiest gums. Their report, published in the Journal of Periodontology, credits probiotics as one possible champion of gum health. Experts believe that probiotics may help to counter growth of the “unfriendly” bacteria in the mouth. Probiotics are live active cultures used to ferment foods, such as yogurt and buttermilk, and studies suggest that they may improve digestion and boost immunity too.

Researchers tracked more than 2,000 adults without high blood pressure for 14 years and found that participants who ate more yogurt were 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who ate less yogurt. Specifically, people with 2 percent or more of their daily calories coming from yogurt were at lower risk for high blood pressure. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 68 million Americans have high blood pressure, which ups the risk for heart disease and stroke. While researchers point out that the new study doesn't prove that non-fat yogurt directly prevents high blood pressure, yogurt's nutritional value paired with a healthy lifestyle is still vital for heart health. 

Adding a serving of yogurt to your daily diet may do more than help keep your bones strong. A new study suggests it could also lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Yogurt can be part of a healthy diet and may help with managing blood pressure.

We recommend three servings of dairy items per day. Six ounces of yogurt is considered one serving; comparative to one cup of milk. Smaller servings of yogurt items are available based on the minimal required amount of active cultures to achieve a desired health effect.


  1. Anonymous5/02/2013

    Is frozen youghurt equally healthy?

    1. Frozen yogurt has less protein and calcium than non-frozen yogurt but contains an equivalent amount of carbohydrates. Depending on the method of production and the types of cultures used, frozen yogurt may have as many live and active cultures as non-frozen yogurt.