Fermented milk market set for open heart innovation: Review

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Fermented milk heart health products - underdeveloped? (© iStock.com)
Fermented milk heart health products - underdeveloped? (© iStock.com)

Related tags Milk Blood pressure functional beverage beverage

Anti-hypertensive fermented functional dairy products using novel lactic acid bacteria have a big future, a review has found.

The review said there weren't many heart health fermented milk products on the market and those that were tended to use the strain Lactobacillus helveticus.

They encouraged research to find and evaluate new lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that possess the ability to generate this bioactivity.

The overview, performed by researchers from the Center for Food Research and Development (ICAS) in Mexico, presented research on the efficacy of fermented milk containing anti-hypertensive peptides.

A range of studies

Demonstrating statistical signifacance is an ongoing challenge in nutrition science. ©iStock.com

As well as in vitro​ and in vivo​ studies, clinical trials were undertaken in order for a fermented functional dairy product to be introduced to the market with Lb. helveticus​ and Sac. cerevisiae​ the most widely studied for their anti-hypertensive effect.

In one study​ of note the authors concluded that daily consumption of the fermented milk with Lb. helveticus ​and Sac. Cerevisiae​ product for at least eight weeks was required for a statistically significant reduction in blood pressure.

Other research looked at the anti-hypertensive effect of fermented milk with Lc. lactis​ NRRLB-50571.

One study noted that by the end of the 8-week intervention, systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased by 13mmHg and was significantly different from the control group.

Although a small reduction in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was noted, the sample size was not large enough to give sufficient statistical power to detect significant differences between groups.

Current market brands

milk calcium fermented
Calcium has demonstrated a positive effect on blood pressure. (© iStock.com)

The review identified several fermented milk products are on the market, including Calpis in Japan and Valio's Evolus brand in Finland.

Although these products attribute their anti-hypertensive effect to peptides present in the fermented milk, they also contain minerals such as potassium and calcium, which have been demonstrated to have a positive effect on blood pressure​, and are backed by EU-approved claims.

“These fermented milks can be considered as hypotensive agents because they can form part of the daily diet,”​ concluded the study.

“Hence, the consumer may be willing to pay a premium for foods with important functional benefits.”

Peptide or probiotic data have not as yet proved strong enough to win heart or other claims under the strict European Union nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).

Source: Journal of Dairy Science

Published online ahead of print, doi.org/10.3168/jds.2015-10054

“Invited review: Fermented milk as antihypertensive functional food.”

Authors: L.M. Beltrán-Barrientos, A. Hernández-Mendoza, M.J. Torres-Llanez, A.F. González-Córdova, B. Vallejo-Córdoba.

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