Topical Area: Medical Nutrition, Nutrition Translation
Objectives : High blood pressure (BP) is the major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and affects about 50% of adult population in the US. The objective of this preliminary study was to determine the effectiveness of nutrient-dense, portion-controlled foods on BP in patients with hypertension.
Methods : Twenty-one adults (14 females, 7 males) with a medical diagnosis of hypertension (BP > 120/80 mm Hg) were recruited. Subjects consumed three nutrient-dense, portion-controlled foods daily for 8 weeks. The foods included 25-35% of the Daily Value (DV) for all nutrients (including potassium) except for sodium and chloride. All foods were low in added sugar and saturated fats. The foods and a blood pressure monitor were provided free to the participants. Morning BP, body weight, and waist circumference were measured by participants and self-reported weekly. Quality of life was assessed using a validated questionnaire (SF-12), which measured physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) composite scores.
Results : Baseline mean age, BMI and BP of study participants were 58±7 years, 34±6 kg/m2 and 149±22/89±7 mm Hg, respectively. After 8 weeks of the dietary intervention, systolic pressure decreased by 13% to 130 ±12 mm Hg (p=0.002) and diastolic pressure decreased by 17% to 74±10 mm Hg (p< 0.001), compared to baseline. Body weight and waist circumference decreased by 4±3 kg (4.5%weight loss, p< 0.001) and 8±6 cm (7% decrease, p< 0.001), respectively, after 8 weeks compared to baseline. Quality of life indicators for PCS and MCS significantly improved (p< 0.05) after 8 weeks of dietary intervention.
BP decreased significantly, weight loss approached a medically significant amount (5%), and quality of life indicators improved after 8 weeks of a dietary intervention with nutrient-dense, portion-controlled foods. The improved systolic BP reported in this preliminary study is comparable to reported efficacy of the DASH diet intervention. Nutrient-dense meals may help hypertensive patients lower blood pressure and body weight, but further research is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.
Funding Sources : Nutrient Foods LLC, Reno, Nevada