Lifestyle intervention focused on nutrition, exercise and sleep significantly lowered BP and the need for antihypertensive medications over a period of 2 weeks, according to findings presented at Nutrition 2018.
“By adapting selected lifestyle health principles, half of the people in our study achieved normal BP within 2 weeks while avoiding the side effects and costs associated with BP medications,” Maximino Alfredo Mejia, DrPH, associate professor at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, said in a press release.
Participants in the intervention-based study, known as the NEWSTART Lifestyle program, followed a vegan diet consisting of legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts, walked daily, drank sufficient amounts of water, slept for adequate durations and participated in optional spiritual activities. The researchers analyzed data from 117 individuals with high BP who participated in the NEWSTART Lifestyle program for 2 weeks.
At baseline, participants had an average BMI of 31.6 kg/m² and systolic BP of 138 mm Hg. By the end of the lifestyle intervention, participants demonstrated a 14% reduction in systolic BP (P < .001). A desirable systolic BP below the recommended 120 mm Hg was achieved by 50% of participants. These results were consistent across gender, body weight, cholesterol levels, use or nonuse of antihypertensive medications and presence or absence of diabetes.
Lifestyle intervention focused on nutrition, exercise and sleep significantly lowered BP and the need for antihypertensive medications over a period of 2 weeks.
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The BP reductions from the lifestyle program were equal to those that can be achieved with three half-dose standard BP medications, according to the release. Almost all participants were able to reduce (24%) or eliminate (69%) antihypertensive medications.
“The Newstart Lifestyle program works quickly, is inexpensive and uses a palatable diet that allows for moderate amounts of salt and healthy fats from nuts, olives, avocado and certain vegetable oils,” Mejia said in the release. – by Alaina Tedesco
Mejia MA. Effectiveness of NEWSTART lifestyle program to reverse hypertension. Presented at: Nutrition 2018. June 9-12; Boston.
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