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Fruit-, Veggie-Rich Diet May Soon Lower Markers for Cardiac Injury

Healthy eating during eight weeks tied to lower levels of markers for subclinical cardiac damage, strain

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MONDAY, May 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For middle-aged adults without preexisting cardiovascular disease, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables over eight weeks is associated with lower levels of markers for subclinical cardiac damage and strain, according to a study published online May 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Stephen P. Juraschek, M.D., Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted an observational study based on specimens from a subpopulation of 326 participants of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial, which randomly assigned459 middle-aged adults without known preexisting cardiovascular disease to eight weeks of monitored feeding with a control diet typical of American eating patterns; a diet rich in fruits and vegetables but otherwise similar to the control diet; or the DASH diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and fiber, with low levels of saturated fat and cholesterol.

The researchers found that the fruit-and-vegetable diet reduced high sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) levels by 0.5 ng/L and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels by 0.3 pg/mL compared with the control diet. The DASH diet reduced hs-cTnI and NT-proBNP levels by 0.5 ng/L and 0.3 pg/mL, respectively, compared with the control diet. There was no difference noted in the levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein among diets. No difference was seen in any of the markers between the fruit-and-vegetable and DASH diets.

"Our study shows that what we eat has an impact on cardiac damage and strain over eight weeks," the authors write.

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