Vegetable Protein Linked to Lower Blood Pressure

Amino acid content differs in high vegetable, low animal protein diet

MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Diets high in protein intake from vegetables rather than animals are associated with lower blood pressure, according to a multinational study in the Jan. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Paul Elliott, M.B., Ph.D., from Imperial College London, U.K., and colleagues examined blood pressure, urine and self-reported dietary intake including dietary supplements from 4,680 subjects aged 40 to 59 years from Japan, the People's Republic of China, the United Kingdom and the United States.

A higher vegetable protein intake of 2.8% kilocalories was associated with significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures, even after adjusting for weight and height, according to the study. There were also significant differences in the amino acid content of the diets of people with high vegetable and low animal protein intake versus the diets of those with low vegetable and high animal protein intake.

"Our results are consistent with current recommendations that a diet high in vegetable products be part of a healthy lifestyle for prevention of high blood pressure and related chronic diseases," the authors write. "Definitive ascertainment of a causal relationship between vegetable protein intake and blood pressure awaits further data from randomized controlled trials, especially regarding the effect of constituent amino acids on blood pressure."

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