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Tahini consumption affects blood pressure and endothelial function in healthy males


Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins, vitamin E, and lignans. Recent studies have highlighted the antioxidant, antihypertensive, hypolipidemic, and appetite-control properties of sesame seeds and sesame oil. However, there is a gap in the literature regarding the effect of tahini (sesame paste) consumption on human health. Thus, the aim is to investigate the postprandial effect of tahini consumption on blood pressure, endothelial function, and arterial stiffness. Twenty healthy men with mean age of 28 y and mean BMI of 25.81 kg/m2 were included. After a 12-h fast, baseline blood was collected, participants consumed 50 g of tahini, and blood collection was repeated 4 h postprandially. Assessment of blood pressure, pulse rate, hemodynamic parameters, and endothelial function was performed at baseline and at the end of the trial. Blood samples were used for the quantification of intercellular cell-adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell-adhesion molecule-1, and E-selectin levels at baseline and 4 h postprandially. A statistically significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.010) and pulse rate (p = 0.002) was observed 4 h after tahini consumption. Significant increases in serum triglycerides (p < 0.001) and flow-mediated dilatation were observed (p = 0.022) 4 h postprandially. No changes were observed in other indices measured at the end of the intervention compared with baseline. This is the first study to report that tahini consumption can lower blood pressure and pulse rate and improve endothelial function, suggesting a healthy snack in place of others with a less desirable lipid profile.

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Fig. 1: Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (mean ± SD) at baseline (0 h) and following tahini consumption (4 h).
Fig. 2: Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) (mean ± SD) at baseline (0 h) and following tahini consumption (4 h).
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Tahini was kindly donated by PAPAYIANNIS BROS S.A. HALVA PRODUCERS OF GREECE, Larissa, Greece.

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PTK originated the idea of the research. PTK and NKT designed the study. E-KIS, GKB, and GDK collected the data. E-KIS, GKB, GDK, and PTK analyzed the data. E-KIS and PTK wrote the paper. PTK supervised the study. NKT, VTK, and GAF revised and edited the paper. All authors have contributed considerably to the paper to be published.

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Correspondence to Panagiotis T. Kanellos.

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Sakketou, EK.I., Baxevanis, G.K., Tentolouris, N.K. et al. Tahini consumption affects blood pressure and endothelial function in healthy males. J Hum Hypertens (2021).

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