Plant-based diet lowers BP levels
A plant-based dietary pattern (PBD) with limited animal products can reduce both systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) across sex and body mass index, according to a study.
The investigators searched the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Medline, Embase, and Web of Science to identify controlled clinical trials analysing the effects of PBDs on BP. Random effect model was used to pool standardized mean differences (SMD) in BP and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs). Risk of bias, publication bias, sensitivity, and heterogeneity were evaluated.
A total of 790 studies were identified, of which 41 clinical trials were eligible for analysis (n=8,416 participants; mean age, 49.2 years).
The pooled analysis revealed the association of PBDs with lower SBP (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension [DASH]: SMD, –5.53 mm Hg, 95 percent CI, –7.95 to –3.12; Mediterranean: SMD, –0.95 mm Hg, 95 percent CI, –1.70 to –0.20; vegan: SMD, –1.30 mm Hg, 95 percent CI, –3.90 to 1.29; lacto-ovo vegetarian: SMD, –5.47 mm Hg, 95 percent CI, –7.60 to –3.34; Nordic: SMD, –4.47 mm Hg, 95 percent CI, –7.14 to –1.81; high-fibre: SMD, –0.65 mm Hg, 95 percent CI, –1.83 to 0.53), high-fruit and vegetable: SMD, –0.57 mm Hg, 95 percent CI, –7.45 to 6.32). Effects were similar on DBP.
No evidence in publication bias was found, and some heterogeneity was seen. Furthermore, the certainty of the results was high for the lacto-ovo vegetarian and DASH diets, moderate for the Nordic and Mediterranean diets, low for the vegan diet, and very low for the high-fruit and vegetable and high-fibre diets.