Vegetarian diet may be linked to lower blood pressure

The Los Angeles Times “Science Now” blog reports that research published online in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that a vegetarian diet may be linked to lower blood pressure.

Reuters reports that investigators analyzed data from 39 studies, 32 of which were observational studies. The other seven were controlled trials.

The CNN “The Chart” blog reports, “In the seven clinical trials, participants following a vegetarian diet had a systolic blood pressure that was 4.8 mm Hg lower on average than their omnivore counterparts’.”

Meanwhile, “the vegetarians’ diastolic blood pressure was lower by an average of 2.2 mm Hg.” The researchers found, in the observational studies, that “a vegetarian diet was associated with an average decrease of 6.9 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure and 4.7 mm HG for diastolic blood pressure.”

Forbes contributor Larry Husten writes, “The authors noted that the magnitude of the blood pressure-lowering effect was about half the size of typical antihypertensive drugs and roughly equivalent to commonly recommended lifestyle modifications such as a low-salt diet or weight reduction.”

 

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