People who ate yogurt once every three days had significantly lower blood pressure than those who didn't eat yogurt, according to a new study reported in MedPage Today.

In fact, they were 31% less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who ate no yogurt at all, Huifen Wang, Ph.D., of Tufts University, and colleagues found.

“Yogurt is a nutrient-dense, low-fat dairy product,” the researchers said. “Higher yogurt intake, as part of a healthy diet pattern, may be beneficial for blood pressure control and hypertension prevention.”

The finding reinforces the known role of low-fat dairy products in reducing blood pressure, Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., chair of the American Heart Assn. nutrition committee, told MedPage.

Wang's group studied 2,197 adults in the Framingham Heart Study who did not have high blood pressure at baseline. Participants answered questions about diet and were followed for blood pressure along with other measures.

Over the 14 years of the study, those with high intake of yogurt — more than 2% of their daily calories — were less likely to develop hypertension.

Adjustment for body mass index and change in BMI didn't eliminate the significance of any of the findings.

The high-consuming group wasn't averaging more than half to a third of a serving of yogurt per day, and the results could be attributable to higher total dairy intake.

The study was funded by the Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and by a research grant from Dannon. You know, the yogurt company.

And no, fro-yo doesn't count.

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