High Protein Diet Linked to Lowered Blood Pressure

Boston University researchers found that a high protein diet can significantly lower risk of high blood pressure.

The fat, carb, and sugar diet debates will most likely rage on for centuries to come. That’s because it seems like every week a new study comes out saying that one way or another is the best way to eat. Here, we feel that a healthy diet of whole foods is always the right way to go, no matter what the latest study du jour says. But, new research from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) sheds new light on a high protein diet: It could lower your blood pressure.

In a study by BUSM researchers, recently published in the American Journal of Hypertension, adults who consumed the highest amount of protein—an average of 100 grams of protein a day—had a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure.

According to the report:

The researchers analyzed protein intakes of healthy participants from the Framingham Offspring Study and followed them for development of high blood pressure over an 11-year period. They found that adults who consumed more protein, whether from animal or plant sources, had statistically significantly lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels after four years of follow-up. In general, these beneficial effects were evident for both overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) and normal weight (BMI <25 kg/m2) individuals. They also found that consuming more dietary protein also was associated with lower long-term risks for HBP. When the diet also was characterized by higher intakes of fiber, higher protein intakes led to 40–60 percent reductions in risk of HBP.

“These results provide no evidence to suggest that individuals concerned about the development of HBP should avoid dietary protein. Rather, protein intake may play a role in the long-term prevention of HBP,” explained corresponding author Lynn Moore, associate professor of medicine at BUSM, in a statement. “This 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.”