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Long-term effects of a plant-based dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods on blood pressure

Abstract

Objective:

To determine the effect on blood pressure of dietary advice to consume a combination of plant-based cholesterol-lowering foods (dietary portfolio).

Methods:

For 1 year, 66 hyperlipidemic subjects were prescribed diets high in plant sterols (1.0 g/1000 kcal), soy protein (22.5 g/1000 kcal), viscous fibers (10 g/1000 kcal) and almonds (22.5 g/1000 kcal). There was no control group. Seven-day diet record, blood pressure and body weight were monitored initially monthly and later at 2-monthly intervals throughout the study.

Results:

Fifty subjects completed the 1-year study. When the last observation was carried forward for non-completers (n=9) or those who changed their blood pressure medications (n=7), a small mean reduction was seen in body weight 0.7±0.3 kg (P=0.036). The corresponding reductions from baseline in systolic and diastolic blood pressure at 1 year (n=66 subjects) were −4.2±1.3 mm Hg (P=0.002) and −2.3±0.7 mm Hg (P=0.001), respectively. Blood pressure reductions occurred within the first 2 weeks, with stable blood pressures 6 weeks before and 4 weeks after starting the diet. Diastolic blood pressure reduction was significantly related to weight change (r=0.30, n=50, P=0.036). Only compliance with almond intake advice related to blood pressure reduction (systolic: r=−0.34, n=50, P=0.017; diastolic: r=−0.29, n=50, P=0.041).

Conclusions:

A dietary portfolio of plant-based cholesterol-lowering foods reduced blood pressure significantly, related to almond intake. The dietary portfolio approach of combining a range of cholesterol-lowering plant foods may benefit cardiovascular disease risk both by reducing serum lipids and also blood pressure.

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Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the Canada Research Chair Endowment of the Federal Government of Canada; the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Loblaw Brands Limited; the Almond Board of California; Unilever Canada and Unilever Research & Development, Vlaardingen, The Netherlands.

We thank Ms Kathy Galbraith of Natural Temptations Bakery, Burlington, ON, Canada for her assistance on this project; and to the study participants for their attention to detail and enthusiasm.

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Correspondence to D J A Jenkins.

Additional information

Contributors: DJAJ, CWCK and DAF contributed to study concept and design; DJAJ, CWCK, DAF, TK, AM, THN, JMWW, RdS, AE and EV contributed to acquisition of data; DJAJ, CWCK, TK, RGJ, LAL and WS contributed to analysis and interpretation of data; DJAJ and CWCK contributed to drafting of the manuscript; DJAJ, CWCK, DAF, AM, THN, JMWW, RdS, AE, EV, EAT, KGL, RGJ, LAL and WS contributed to critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; EV contributed to statistical expertise; DJAJ and CWCK contributed to obtaining funding; CWCK, DAF, AM, THN, JMWW, RdS, AE, EAT, KGL, RGJ, LAL and WS contributed to administrative, technical or material support; DJAJ, CWCK and DAF study supervision.

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Jenkins, D., Kendall, C., Faulkner, D. et al. Long-term effects of a plant-based dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods on blood pressure. Eur J Clin Nutr 62, 781–788 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602768

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602768

Keywords

  • blood pressure
  • National Cholesterol Education Program diet
  • cardiovascular risk

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