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Keywords:

  • blood pressure;
  • dairy;
  • Dietary Guidelines for Americans;
  • vascular function

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 indicated there is moderate evidence for an association between the consumption of dairy foods and lower blood pressure in adults; however, it also stated that more evidence was needed, especially in clinical trials, to fully delineate a causal relationship. The purpose of this review is to provide background by examining the historical literature and the evidence reviewed by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, to examine the gaps in knowledge indicated by that committee, and to determine if recently published evidence is sufficient to elucidate or dismiss an association between dairy foods and blood pressure maintenance. Examination of the newly published literature, together with evaluation of the evidence as a whole, shows that the preponderance of evidence indicates dairy foods are beneficially associated with blood pressure; however, additional research is necessary to identify the mechanism of action of dairy foods. New evidence should come from carefully designed clinical trials that examine not only blood pressure outcomes but also the ability of dairy foods to affect the vasculature.