FRUITS AND VEGETABLES MODERATE BLOOD PRESSURE, FIBRINOGEN CONCENTRATION AND PLASMA VISCOSITY IN NIGERIAN HYPERTENSIVES|
Adebawo, O.O.; Salau, B.A.; Adeyanju, M.M.; Famodu, A.A. & Osilesi, O.
Fruits and vegetables contain vital components such as potassium, antioxidants, vitamins and folic acid that might contribute to lowering blood pressure which is a major risk factor in cardiovascular disorders. However, the results of the few investigations on the correlation between intake of fruits and vegetables and cardiovascular disease have been inconsistent. Worse still, there is dearth of information on disease prevention with fruits and vegetables in Africans. Thus, we investigated the relative effect of fruits and vegetables on blood pressure, viscosity of blood and fibrinogen level. Ten weeks intervention study with ≥ 3 times daily consumption of fruits and vegetables by hypertensive patients was conducted. The fruits and vegetables included in the test diet were oranges, banana, pawpaw, mango, pineapple, grape, tangerine, garden egg, okra, pumpkin leaf, spinach, amaranthus and water leaf. The patients were allowed to consume the food servings while their eating habit was not restricted. Blood pressure, blood viscosity and plasma fibrinogen and nutrient intake were determined before and during intervention. The complementary fruits and vegetables included in the normal dietary regimen of the patients during the 10 weeks study increased the levels of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, antioxidants and dietary fiber significantly compared to the baseline values (P<0.01). The systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly lowered; percentage differences of -9.01 and -3.73 (P<0.01) respectively were observed after 10 weeks. Percentage differences of -6.02, -38.86 and -5.29 (P<0.05.) were observed for haematocrit, blood viscosity and plasma fibrinogen respectively compared with the base line. Fruits and vegetables lowered the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood viscosity and plasma fibrinogen. The decrease in haematocrit and fibrinogen could influence reduction in blood viscosity thereby preventing premature CVD in hypertensive. Daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetable might be beneficial for the prevention and as therapeutic regime for cardiovascular complications.
Hypertension, Fruits, Vegetables, Fibrinogen, Viscosity