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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow BLOOD PRESSURE CHANGES WITH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
BLOOD PRESSURE CHANGES WITH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

"Dietary patterns and blood pressure change over 5-y follow-up in the SU.VI.MAX cohort," Dauchet L, Hercberg S, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2007; 85(6): 1650-6

This study involved 2,341 subjects aged 35-63 years. The results suggest that high consumption of fruits and vegetables may lower the increase in blood pressure that is observed with aging. Dietary patterns based on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet characteristics were assessed through dietary records. During a median follow-up of 5.4 years, a 9.3 mm average increase in systolic blood pressure and a 4.5 mm average increase in diastolic blood pressure were observed.

After adjusting for other variables, higher fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure at baseline and lower average 5-year increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "These results suggest that high fruit and vegetable intakes may be associated with a lower increase in blood pressure with aging."

This is not the first time that fruit and vegetable consumption has been shown to lower blood pressure. A 2005 report in the same journal also showed this effect. A 2003 study demonstrated a similar effect of fruit and vegetable consumption in German women. And there have been many studies that have used nutrients found in fruits and vegetables-calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C, B vitamins-to effectively lower blood pressure.

In naturopathic medical school I balked at the medical name given to blood pressure with no apparent cause-'essential hypertension'. From the diagnostic label itself it was as if conventional medicine had already given up on this health problem. If it's 'essential' doesn't that mean you need it or it is somehow an integral part of physiology? Obviously not! If something as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, why not start there before giving toxic drugs such as diuretics or hypertensive drugs? Add in other dietary changes, exercise, and an individually chosen homeopathic medicine to further lower high blood pressure.

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