In a recent study published online in the JAMA Internal Medicine issue of February 24, a team of researchers led by Yoko Yokoyama, PhD, MPH, of the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan, has found a link between a vegetarian diet and lower blood pressure.
As the development of hypertension is influenced by factors such as diet, body weight, physical activity and alcohol intake, dietary modifications have been shown to be effective for preventing and managing hypertension.
For their study the authors conducted an analysis of seven clinical trials and 32 studies published from 1900 to 2013, in which participants ate a vegetarian diet.
By measuring net differences in BP it was found that eating a vegetarian diet was associated with a reduction in the average systolic (peak artery pressure) and diastolic (minimum artery pressure) BP in comparison to eating an omnivorous (plant and animal) diet. This was evident in all seven trials as well as in the 32 studies.
In their conclusion the researchers recommend further studies in order to clarify which types of vegetarian diets are most strongly associated with lower BP. They also see research into the implementation of such diets, either as public health initiatives aiming at prevention of hypertension or in clinical settings to be of great potential value.
Source: JAMA Network
25 February 2014