A Research Blog

That is the question. As the number of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients rises rapidly in Asia, the need for dialysis grows with it, along with a trend to start dialysis earlier in the management of ESRD. The situation in Singapore is similarly bleak. It is imperative to determine if the benefits of starting dialysis earlier is worth the high cost and inconvenience that accompanies it, especially when evidence supporting those benefits is limited and controversial.

Team Photo

The research team (L-R): Dr Feng Liang, Professor Tazeen Hasan Jafar, Dr John Carsen Allen.

First author Dr Mohammad Talaei and co-senior authors Prof Koh Woon-Puay and Prof Yuan Jian Min

A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition had an interesting finding; Chinese elderly who had consumed milk were less likely than their counterparts to be diagnosed with hypertension. 

Globally, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is the leading risk factor for death associated with cardiovascular disease. A proven, effective way to prevent high blood pressure is adhering to DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which includes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, low- or non-fat dairy foods, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts and beans.

The consumption of dairy products is believed to be a key factor in DASH that prevents high blood pressure. This belief has been substantiated by studies in populations that traditionally consume high levels of dairy. What’s interesting about the study, led by NUS’ Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH) PhD student Dr Mohammad Talaei and his supervisor Professor Koh Woon-Puay from Duke-NUS Medical School and SSHSPH, is that it is the first to show the same positive effect of dairy on high blood pressure, in a Asian population that traditionally has a relatively low consumption of dairy products.

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