Anyone have any studies reporting Blood Pressure changes (lowering) while eating Paleo? I'd like both studies and anecdotal reports if you have them. Mahalo for your help!
A quick search for "paleo" on Paleo for Life found the following research studies:
Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009 Aug;63(8):947-55.
CONCLUSIONS: Even short-term consumption of a paleolithic type diet improves BP and glucose tolerance, decreases insulin secretion, increases insulin sensitivity and improves lipid profiles without weight loss in healthy sedentary humans.
Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc Diabetol 2009;8(0):35.
Compared to the diabetes diet, the Paleolithic diet resulted in lower mean values of HbA1c (-0.4% units, p = 0.01), triacylglycerol (-0.4 mmol/L, p = 0.003), diastolic blood pressure (-4 mmHg, p = 0.03), weight (-3 kg, p = 0.01), BMI (-1 kg/m2, p = 0.04) and waist circumference (-4 cm, p = 0.02), and higher mean values of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (+0.08 mmol/L, p = 0.03).
Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;62(5):682-5. Epub 2007 May 16.
RESULTS: Mean weight decreased by 2.3 kg (P<0.001), body mass index by 0.8 (P<0.001), waist circumference by 0.5 cm (P=0.001), systolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg (P=0.03) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 by 72% (P=0.020).
Gary Taubes also dedicated several pages in Good Calories, Bad Calories on the blood pressure lowering effects of low-carb diets. If you have the paperback edition, it's on pages 145 to 151.
Nephropal has some good articles on hypertension from an evolutionary perspective.
The main things seem to be adequate vitamin d, good sodium-potassium ratio (1:16 not 3:1!), keeping insulin low (through low carb, appropriate exercise, vitamin D*strong text*), low fructose. Omega 3 has been claimed to be useful too, the ratio between 3 and 6 being especially important.
Stephan has a good series on Lindeberg's paleo diet trials, which improved hypertension (along with most other things).
Edit: Also this post discusses low carb (rather than paleo) for hypertension, comparing it favourably to orlistat. In the comments here it's suggested that the benefits to hypertension might come specifically from a fat-based metabolism (which necessarily occurs with weight loss) rather than weight loss per se (which is the conventional idea).
This summer I was diagnosed with hypotension. I have since upped by consumption of salty foods and extra fat and now I'm fine. Everyone in my family has low blood pressure, so I'm a little bit of an outlier maybe.
My blood pressure has historically been low (100/60), but had climbed in the last year to 120/75-80. After a month on a light, modified paleo (I'm a recovering vegetarian and I'm still struggling to eat enough meat), my blood pressure settled right back down to 100/60-65. My resting pulse also went from 85 to 75.
I don't check my bp regularly as it has long been in normal range and seem to continue to be. My mother's was high before going lowcarb and she frequently checks it using her home monitor. Basically, she just cut out most bread, oats, potatoes and processed carbs when she went lowcarb. She still eats a slice of whole grain daily simply because she likes it. But shortly after cutting out most carbs and eating more meat, her blood pressure dropped. Before lowcarb, it was about 135/85 with a pulse of about 85-90. Several weeks, later, after losing only about 3 pounds, it had dropped to about 115/70 with a pulse of about 65-70. She also felt really great and started doing a lot more around the house and in the yard because of all her newfound energy. My mother is 73 so that's pretty cool. I have started nagging her now to talk with her doctor about cutting back on her blood pressure meds. She wasn't on much of it to start with and we may now be at the point where it is no longer needed.
Another change is her LDL cholesterol has gone up slightly, but I am not particularly worried as long as triglycerides and HDL are good. Her LDL numbers were calculated and not directly measured so there's a good chance she just has more of the larger LDL particles now which are not a problem but will skew the results when measured by calculation instead of direct measure. The downside is one of her docs saw the slightly higher LDL numbers and immediately wanted to put her on statins. At which point I said heck no cuz statins have never been shown to improve mortality rates in any female population nor have they been shown to improve mortality in the elderly! Plus she has no probs with her heart and now with her blood pressure down, we are talking about no or nearly no risk factors (weight is good, resting bgs good, etc). Jeez, some of those docs just LOVE to jump on the statin band wagon.
Ironically, we made the same decision back a while ago when they wanted to put her on hormones because she was postmenopausal, even though she was healthy, had minimal symptoms and has very strong bones. I said no and later we were glad she never took them when new studies came back saying the hormones caused increased cancer and heart attack. Feh! I just don't believe in medicating a healthy person for a problem that is not even there.
My blood pressure was very low at my last physical. Usually 120/80, but it was even lower at 100/60. The doctor asked me if my blood pressure is normally that low, and I said no. And that was all that was said. I don't know if that is considered too low, but I feel great anyway.
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