Risk of high blood pressure declined with an increase in the consumption of total or low-fat dairy products and milk.Olga Filonenko/Flickr

Drinking milk every day can keep the heart healthy, says a new study.

Researchers from the Wageningen University in Netherlands found that milk and other dairy products help to keep blood pressure under control, reduce risk of heart diseases and heart attacks, IANS reported.

"The meta-analyses indicate that there is a link between increasing the number of glasses of milk a day and a lower incidence of hyper-tension and subsequently the heart attack risk," Dr Sabita S. Soedamah-Muthu from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, told IANS, Times of India reported. 

For the study, researchers looked at 57,256 people and 15,367 cases of hypertension from nine studies. Researchers mainly focused on the role of milk on cardiovascular diseases, that refers to the disorders of the circulatory system consisting heart and blood vessels. Heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and heart failure include in the list.

The risk of high blood pressure declined with an increase in the consumption of total or low-fat dairy products and milk.

The study was presented at the 12th Euro Fed Lipid Congress held in Montpellier, France.

Similar to the study, previous studies have also linked consumption of milk to lowered risk of arthritis, and drinking milk during pregnancy to taller children. Research has also shown that drinking one glass of milk every day improved brain power.

A non-profit organisation, The Dairy Council in the UK, recommends intake of milk and dairy products for the health of bones and teeth. Milk, according to them, can fight obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

The new study, however, contradicts the popular belief that saturated fats – found in animal products like cheese, butter, cream and meat – are bad for the heart.

Similar to the current study, an article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) last October reported that dairy products that are high in vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus do more good than harm to the heart.

Vitamin D deficiency has long been linked to heart disease and minerals in dairy products have been known to lower blood pressure, Dr Aseem Malhotra, interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital in London, wrote in the article.

Another study released in December 2013 found that drinking organic milk can best protect the heart against many deadly diseases. According to the researchers, a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in organic milk facilitated this occurrence.

A heart healthy food, according to experts from the UCSF Medical Center in the US, is high in fibre, omega-3 fats and low in sodium and sugar. They recommended consumption of salmon fish; and vegetables, particularly green, red and orange coloured; and fruits. However, they have suggested to avoid a diet high in saturated fats and Trans fats.