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Monday, January 09, 2006

Vegetables to Cut Blood Pressure

A vegetable-rich diet can help to reduce blood pressure, researchers say.

A team led by Imperial College London, which studied 4,680 people aged 40-59, said it was not clear why eating more vegetable protein had such an effect.

But amino acids - the building blocks of protein - or vegetable components, like magnesium, may be key, they said.

However, they found no strong evidence that high meat consumption is linked to high blood pressure. The study features in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Some types of amino acid have been shown to influence blood pressure, for instance arginine has been shown to dilate the blood vessels.

Different forms of amino acids are found in meat and vegetarian matter.

Healthy lifestyle

Writing in the journal, the researchers, led by Professor Paul Elliott, said more research was needed to pin down exactly why vegetables helped lower blood pressure.

High blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.


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