Cheese may lower high blood pressure

cheese may lower blood pressure
Cheese is highly nutritious and very rich in several vitamins and minerals. Cheese is an excellent source of protein. Consumption of dairy products, such as cheese, has long been recognized as an effective strategy against osteoporosis, especially among elderly women. But one of the vital questions for cheese lovers is whether cheese is helpful for high blood pressure.  The problem with cheese when you are diagnosed with high blood pressure is that there is a fairly high amount of sodium in a lot of cheeses and sodium is something that you must reduce to a minimum in your diet.

 One thick slice of cheddar cheese (28 g) contains about 6.7 g of protein, which is similar to what you get from a glass of milk. One slice of Cheddar Cheese has about 170 mg of sodium.  Salt and sodium are villains when it comes to living with high blood pressure and heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that people with hypertension or prehypertension limit their daily total sodium intake to just 1,500 milligrams. Cheese fat is highly complex, containing hundreds of different fatty acids . Cheese contains a family of trans fats called ruminant trans fats or dairy trans fats. Unlike trans fats found in processed foods, ruminant trans fats are considered to have health benefits when consumed in reasonable amounts.

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood out to the body and contributes to hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, to stroke, kidney disease, and to the development of heart failure.


However, recently researchers [1] say that consuming sodium in the form of a dairy product, such as cheese, may protect against some of sodium’s effects on the cardiovascular system, such as high blood pressure.  According to researchers [1], the protection comes from antioxidant properties of dairy proteins in cheese. The results suggest that when sodium is consumed in cheese it does not have the negative vascular effects that researchers observed with sodium from non-dairy source. The researchers say [1] the protection comes from antioxidant properties of dairy proteins in cheese.

“This is a novel finding that may have implications for dietary recommendations. Newer dietary recommendations suggest limiting sodium, but our data suggest that eating sodium in the form of a dairy product, such as cheese, may be protective,” said Lacy Alexander, associate professor of kinesiology and co-lead researcher on the project.

“We are already aware that at the population level, people who eat more dairy typically have lower blood pressure,” Alexander added.

“We found that when our subjects ate a lot of sodium in cheese, they had better blood vessel function — more blood flow — compared to when they ate an equal amount of sodium from non-dairy sources — in this case, pretzels and soy cheese,” said Anna Stanhewicz, co-investigator and postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Healthy Aging.

“We know that more red blood cells means more blood flow and more dilation. We observed that subjects had more nitric oxide-moderated dilation after eating dairy cheese, compared to after eating pretzels or soy cheese.”

The researchers reported their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition. Other researchers involved included Billie Alba, a pre-doctoral student in the Department of Kinesiology, and W. Larry Kenney, professor of kinesiology and Marie Underhill Noll Chair in Human Performance.


1. Eating dairy cheese may protect against sodium-related health risks

2. Hypertensive crisis and cheese