The effect of increased fruit and vegetable consumption on blood pressure and lipids: a pooled analysis of six randomised controlled fruit and vegetable intervention trials

Nour A Elsahoryi, Charlotte E Neville, Chris C Patterson, Michelle C McKinley, Francina R Baldrick, Ciara Mulligan, Damian O McCall, Rebecca L Noad, Ciara Rooney, Ian Wallace, Claire T McEvoy, Steven Hunter, David R McCance, David J Edgar, Stuart J Elborn, Pascal P McKeown, Ian S Young, Rachel E Moore, Anne P Nugent, Jayne V Woodside*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background
Increasing fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk in observational studies but with little evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The impact of concurrent pharmacological therapy is unknown.

Objective
To pool data from six RCTs to examine the effect of increasing FV intake on blood pressure (BP) and lipid profile, also exploring whether effects differed by medication use.

Design
Across trials, dietary intake was assessed by diet diaries or histories, lipids by routine biochemical methods and BP by automated monitors. Linear regression provided an estimate of the change in lipid profile or BP associated with a one portion increase in self-reported daily FV intake, with interaction terms fitted for medication use.

Results
The pooled sample included a total of 554 participants (308 males and 246 females). Meta-analysis of regression coefficients revealed no significant change in either systolic or diastolic BP per portion FV increase, although there was significant heterogeneity across trials for systolic BP (I2 = 73%). Neither adjusting for change in body mass index, nor analysis according to use of anti-hypertensive medication altered the relationship. There was no significant change in lipid profile per portion FV increase, although there was a significant reduction in total cholesterol among those not on lipid-lowering therapy (P < 0.05 after Bonferroni correction).

Conclusion
Pooled analysis of six individual FV trials showed no impact of increasing intake on BP or lipids, but there was a total cholesterol-lowering effect in those not on lipid-lowering therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ii80-ii89
Number of pages10
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume53
Issue numberSupplement_2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

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Keywords

  • Humans
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Blood Pressure/drug effects
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Male
  • Female
  • Middle Aged
  • Lipids/blood
  • Aged
  • Diet, Healthy
  • Antihypertensive Agents/therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers/blood

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