Take the pressure off

| Post published on June 3, 2012
minute reading time

Many studies have found that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than the population at large but the latest one decided to look at a geographically diverse population containing vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians and omnivores. The research team concluded that vegetarians, especially vegans, do have lower blood pressure and suffer less often from hypertension than meat-eaters. Vegans were also less likely to take hypertension drugs than vegetarians and meat-eaters. These results were attributed not just to lower average weight but also to a higher intake of fruit and vegetables, nuts and wholegrains resulting in increased amounts of fibre, vitamin K and many other nutrients. Researchers also tested calcium levels of the study volunteers because low levels of calcium can increase blood pressure. However, they found that the vegans in the study did not have low calcium levels, which demonstrates that they get enough calcium from plant sources.

Pettersen, B.J., Anousheh, R., Fan, J., et al., 2012. Vegetarian diets and blood pressure among white subjects: results from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2). Public Health Nutrition. 15(10) 1909-1916.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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