A study published by the American Journal of Hypertension, found that participants consuming the highest amount of protein, (an average of 100 g protein/day), had a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to the lowest intake level.
Hypertension is a serious health risk, with one in three U.S. adults, exposed to it, increasing obesity to a considerable degree. Hypertension is one of the most common risk factors of stroke and accelerates multiple forms of heart disease.
In this study protein intake was analyzed by researchers who analyzed protein consumption from healthy participants. The children were followed for a period over an 11 year period. It was determined that that adults who consumed more protein, whether from animal or plant sources, had statistically significantly lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels after four years of follow-up.
The beneficial effects were evident for both overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) and normal weight (BMI <25 kg/m2) individuals. The research findings reflect that consuming more dietary protein was associated with lower long-term risks for HBP. When the diet also was characterized by higher intakes of fiber, higher protein intakes led to 40-60 percent reductions in risk of HBP.
"These results provide no evidence to suggest that individuals concerned about the development of HBP should avoid dietary protein. Rather, protein intake may play a role in the long-term prevention of HBP," explained corresponding author Lynn Moore, associate professor of medicine at BUSM. "This growing body of research on the vascular benefits of protein, including this study, suggest we need to revisit optimal protein intake for optimal heart health," she said.
J. R. Buendia, M. L. Bradlee, M. R. Singer, L. L. Moore. Diets Higher in Protein Predict Lower High Blood Pressure Risk in Framingham Offspring Study Adults. American Journal of Hypertension, 2014; DOI: 10.1093/ajh/hpu157