Vol 78, No 7-8 (2020)
Review paper
Published online: 2020-06-30

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Dietary interventions in blood pressure lowering: current evidence in 2020

Larysa Strilchuk, Raffaele Ivan Cincione, Federica Fogacci, Arrigo F.G. Cicero
Pubmed: 32631027
Kardiol Pol 2020;78(7-8):659-666.


Dietary modification is one of the cornerstones in the treatment of arterial hypertension (AH). Current American and European guidelines recommend people to ingest fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low‑fat dairy products as well as to decrease the consumption of red meat, sugar, and trans fats. This review aimed to summarize available evidence on dietary patterns associated with lower blood pressure (BP). Research has shown that the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can lower BP equally effectively or even more significantly than some antihypertensive drugs. The Mediterranean diet also leads to a considerable reduction in BP. Vegans and vegetarians have been shown to have a lower prevalence of AH than omnivores. Caloric restriction may decrease BP in normotensive, prehypertensive, and hypertensive populations. Blood pressure can also be lowered by certain nutraceuticals (such as beetroot juice, magnesium, vitamin C, catechin‑rich beverages, or soy isoflavones). Diet effects on BP are mediated by body weight loss, amelioration of inflammation, increased insulin sensitivity, and antihypertensive properties of some individual nutrients. There is robust evidence that vegetarian and vegan diets have the ability to reduce BP. The presence of the so-called floor effect makes these diets usable in normo- and prehypertensive people at high risk of developing AH. However, the dietary and nutraceutical approach to BP lowering cannot substitute drug treatment when the latter is needed.

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Polish Heart Journal (Kardiologia Polska)