Cardiovascular health

Diets rich in protein and fibre can reduce risk of high blood pressure

blood pressure measure - yogurt

A number of recent clinical trials suggest that dietary protein has positive effects on blood pressure.

The aim of this study was to clarify whether these effects can be seen in the long-term on systolic BP, diastolic BP, and the risk of hypertension in adults in the Framingham Offspring Study. 1,351 volunteers with no history of cardiovascular disease were followed for a period of over 11 years by means of two diet histories assessing their intake of dietary proteins, adjusted according to their body weight. Higher protein intakes were associated with lower diastolic and systolic BP.

Overall, higher protein intakes also significantly lowered the risk of high BP by almost 40%. Furthermore, when high protein intake was combined with high fibre intake, the risk of high BP was even lower (by 59%).

Lastly, analysis of the different protein fractions shows that risk is also reduced with consumption of both animal and plant proteins in isolation, by 32% and 49% respectively.

Source: Buendia JR et al. Am J Hypertens 2014; doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpu15. First published online: September 6, 2014