Vegetable Protein Linked to Lower Blood Pressure

Study finding reinforces existing dietary recommendations

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TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- People who have a higher intake of protein from vegetables tend to have lower blood pressure.

That finding comes from a British study published in the Jan. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Imperial College London researchers collected blood pressure data from 4,680 people, aged 40 to 59, from four countries over a period of three to six weeks. Information about the study participants' eating and drinking habits was also collected, along with urine samples.

The study found that people who ate more vegetable protein were more likely to have lower blood pressure than those who ate less vegetable protein. In contrast to previous research, this study found no link between total protein intake and blood pressure.

While they aren't certain exactly how vegetable proteins might influence blood pressure, the researchers said amino acids (contained in protein) may play a role and that other components of vegetables, such as magnesium, may also interact with amino acids to lower blood pressure.

"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 study authors wrote.

"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," they noted.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about dietary proteins.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Jan. 9, 2006


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