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Vegetable-rich diet may prevent arterial stiffness

Stephen Padilla
17 Jul 2017

A diet consisting of high intake of fruit, vegetables, pulse, seafood and seaweed appears to prevent the incidence of arterial stiffness derived from brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), according to a Japan study.

“This is the first study to demonstrate a relationship between dietary patterns and arterial stiffness in Japanese middle-aged adults,” researchers said. “Our findings suggest that a dietary pattern characterized by a high consumption of vegetables, seafood, seaweed and fruit is inversely associated with arterial stiffness.”

“This diet offers an additional nutritional approach to the prevention and treatment of arterial stiffness,” they added.

Two major dietary patterns were identified using factor analysis, a rice-rich pattern and a vegetable-rich pattern. The latter was characterized by the consumption of a wide variety of foods, such as vegetables, fruit, fish, seaweed and pulse. The former included rice, breads, fats, oils, meats, potatoes, confectionary, noodles and other carbohydrates.

No association existed between the rice-rich pattern and baPWV or other risk factors. On the other hand, there was a significant inverse correlation between the vegetable-rich pattern factor score and arterial stiffness measured by baPWV. [Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2017;26:539-544]

“In our analysis of individual food items, we confirmed the inverse association between arterial stiffness and the consumption of vegetables, seafood, seaweed, fruit and pulse reported in earlier studies,” researchers noted. [J Cardiol 2014;63:211-7; Lancet 2007;369:1090-8; Circulation 2006;113:195-202; Circulation 2010;122:2521-8; Br J Nutr 2009;102:285-92]

Interestingly, the findings showed no association between arterial stiffness and the individual consumption of vegetables, fish and seafood, but these foods are considered elements of a healthy diet.

“Wahlqvist et al reported that food variety is associated with less macro vascular disease, and the increased variety among plant foods eaten might be predictive of better arterial compliance,” according to researchers. [J Am Coll Nutr 1989;8:515-23]

In this cross-sectional study, a total of 70 Japanese middle-aged adults (39 men and 31 women) with no history of stroke, coronary heart disease or cancer were analysed between 2009 and 2012. Researchers used a validated food-frequency questionnaire to document dietary intake and factor analysis to generate dietary patterns.

Correlational analyses were conducted between baPWV and dietary patterns and between baPWV and individual risk factors, such as total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), non-HDL-C, LDL/HDL ratio and augmentation index.

One of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is arterial stiffness, which is considered to be influenced by dietary intake, according to researchers, adding that food intake is an important modifiable risk factor for CVD. [Cardiovasc Res 2007;73:326-40]

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Most Read Articles
01 Mar 2015
Red yeast rice extracts have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.1 In recent times, an extract from red yeast rice, Xuezhikang® (XZK), has been studied for its role in dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular disease. This review will look at some of the clinical trials that have done so.
30 Jun 2016
Perindopril can protect patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) from recurrence after radiofrequency catheter ablation, as stated in a study.
4 days ago
Enriching salt with both potassium and magnesium in the long term may provide additional benefits for stroke patient recovery from neurologic deficits, suggests a recent study involving Taiwanese patients.