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High-Protein Diet Linked to Lower Hypertension Risk

Sep 12, 2014 05:37 AM EDT
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High-protein diet is associated with lower risk of hypertension, a new study has found.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). The team found that people who consumed 100 g protein/day or more had a 40 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure when compared to people who had low levels of dietary protein.

"These results provide no evidence to suggest that individuals concerned about the development of HBP should avoid dietary protein. Rather, protein intake may play a role in the long-term prevention of HBP," explained corresponding author Lynn Moore, associate professor of medicine at BUSM, according to a news release. "This growing body of research on the vascular benefits of protein, including this study, suggest we need to revisit optimal protein intake for optimal heart health," she added.

High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and heart disease, especially in people with excess body weight. According to National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the condition often has no signs, meaning that it can take years to be diagnosed. About one in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure.

Data for the study came from Framingham Offspring Study. The researchers assessed the development of high blood pressure in the participants over an 11-year period. They found that adults who had high levels of protein in diet - from plant sources or animals - had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels after a four-year follow up period. The effect of high protein diet was seen in both healthy and overweight individuals.

The team also found that higher protein intakes led to 40-60 percent decrease in high blood pressure risk, especially when people also consumed more dietary fiber.

The study is published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

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