Leading Finnish dairy group Valio said it will start selling a milk product the company claims can lower the blood pressure on people by only drinking 1.5 decilitre per day of the milk.
The product, called Evolus, will be the first such functional food product in Europe, the company said, although similar products are on sale in Japan.
“We expect that Evolus will be a success, both on our home markets and globally, Valio managing director Olavi Kuusela told a press conference.
To back its health-promoting claims, Valio cited two studies, one conducted by the company and one by Helsinki Public Health Institute Both showed that a person’s blood pressure will return to normal after sevens weeks of drinking 1.5 decilitres a day. The studies were conducted on patients with slightly higher than normal blood pressure.
The company explained the milk had been fortified with a lactic acid bacterium which makes the milk protein break down into bio-active peptides, the same substance that is active in many blood pressure medicines. The milk will be slighly fatter than ordinary milk.
Evolus has been approved for marketing in Finland, but Valio hopes to launch it in Sweden and Estonia shortly. In Finland the product will carry a retail price of about FMk15.
High blood pressure is one of the most common health disorders in the west today, which explains why blood pressure medicines are one of the most widely sold drugs.
The Finnish dairy group had earlier reported a 25% increase in its eight-month profit after net financial items to SKr343m. It said sales in the period to August reached SKr7.7bn.