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High protein diets linked to lower blood pressure

By Steve Born

The statistics are both startling and sobering: One-third of American adults has hypertension (high blood pressure) and nearly 79 million are clinically obese, which puts them at a high risk for developing hypertension. High blood pressure puts an enormous strain on the walls of blood vessels, which is why it's a major risk factor for stroke and other types of heart disease. When coupled with excess body weight, the combination can be deadly.

Fortunately, consuming a high-protein diet may significantly reduce risk for developing high blood pressure, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine analyzed the protein intakes of adult participants from the Framingham Offspring Study and followed them for 11 years, tracking the development of high blood pressure. They found that participants who consumed the highest amount of protein - whether from animal or plant sources - had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, equating to a 40% lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to those with the lowest daily protein intake. Beneficial effects were seen in both normal weight and overweight participants.

Associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine Lynn Moore commented, "These results provide no evidence to suggest that individuals concerned about the development of high blood pressure should avoid dietary protein. Rather, protein intake may play a role in the long-term prevention of high blood pressure.The 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."

Bottom Line:

Increasing your protein intake to optimal amounts provides a multitude of benefits, which now includes - thanks to this eye-opening study - protection against the development of high blood pressure. Consuming one-half gram of protein per pound of body weight daily is a good rule to follow, and Hammer Nutrition has a number of superior-quality, great-tasting protein products to help you reach your daily target amount: Hammer Whey, Hammer Vegan Protein, Hammer Soy, Hammer Vegan Recovery Bars, and Hammer Whey Recovery Bar.

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