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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 97-100 Table of Contents     

Fruits and vegetables moderate lipid cardiovascular risk factor in hypertensive patients

1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Remo Campus, Ikenne, Nigeria
2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Remo Campus, Ikenne, Nigeria
3 Department of Heamatology, School of Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin-City, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication17-Jun-2010

Correspondence Address:
Olugbenga Adebawo
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Remo Campus, Ikenne
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Hyperlipidemia is a major risk factor in etiology of cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have shown association between vegetarian diet and low total serum cholesterol as well as LDL-cholesterol which is a pointer to low risk of cardiovascular disease. Dietary fiber, antioxidants and other classes of nutrients have been reported to ameliorate cardiovascular risk factors. Fruits and vegetables being rich sources of fiber and antioxidants have been the focus in intervention studies. The current work reports the effect local fruits and vegetables on cardiovascular risk factors in African hypertensive subjects in an 8 week study. Though there was no significant difference in the Body Mass Index and HDL-cholesterol at the end of the eighth week, there were significant reductions (P < 0.05) in serum triglycerides (125.87 6.0 to108.27 5.49 mgdL-1); total serum cholesterol (226.60 6.15 to 179.20 5.78) and LDL-cholesterol (135.69 5.56 to 93.07 7.18 mgdL-1). We concluded that consumption of combination of local fruits and vegetables may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular risk factors in Africans.

Keywords: Fruits, vegetables, cholesterol, hypertension, cardiovascular risk

How to cite this article:
Adebawo O, Salau B, Ezima E, Oyefuga O, Ajani E, Idowu G, Famodu A, Osilesi O. Fruits and vegetables moderate lipid cardiovascular risk factor in hypertensive patients. Heart Views 2006;7:97-100

How to cite this URL:
Adebawo O, Salau B, Ezima E, Oyefuga O, Ajani E, Idowu G, Famodu A, Osilesi O. Fruits and vegetables moderate lipid cardiovascular risk factor in hypertensive patients. Heart Views [serial online] 2006 [cited 2023 Feb 4];7:97-100. Available from: https://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2006/7/3/97/63920

   Introduction Top

Several epidemiological studies have implicated hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyc eridemia as major factors in the etiology of vascular disease [1],[2] . Other prospective studies have equally shown that serum cholesterol [3] , LDL-cholesterol [4] , body mass index or obesity index, atherogenic index [5] and coronary risk index [6] are major risk factors in cardiovascular diseases.

Some studies have investigated the nutritional status of white and black American vegetarians [7],[8] . These authors reported lower serum total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) as well as cholesterol in vegetarians and suggested lower cardiovascular risk and essentially lower blood pressure (BP)among vegetarians. Similar results were obtained with Native African vegetarians [9] .

Hypertension is a common cause of cardiovascular disorders and is essentially associated with abnormal lipid and altered glucose metabolism [10],[11] . Among the classes of food that have been taken to be beneficial in reducing risk of cardiovascular disorders are fruits and vegetables due to their high level of fibres [12] , antioxidants [13] and complex carbohydrates [14] .

Intervention studies of disease prevention with fruits or vegetables or both in Africans are rare. It is important to determine if fruits and vegetables are associated with lower BP and blood lipid and other risk factors for cardiovascular complications.

   Materials and Methods Top

Twenty hypertensive patients were randomly selected from the cardiovascular clinic of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH). The subjects that had been on diabetic drugs for over one year were educated on the purpose of the research work and they all consented. The average nutrients intake by the subjects using estimated food records were calculated.

Two weeks after the first table contact with the subjects, blood specimen were taken and other parameters were measured for analysis to serve as baseline. Edible portion of fairly ripe fruits (banana, pawpaw, grape fruits, tangerine and pineapple) were diced mixed together in equal weight fruits salad with exception of banana which two fingers were given per serving. Two servings of fruits salad (each measuring 100g) were given per day. Edible green leafy vegetable including fluted pumpkin leaf, spinach and waterleaf were diced and given in 100g portion per day after moderate cooking. The supplementation of the normal diet of the hypertensive subjects with fruits and vegetables was carried out for eight weeks after which it was stopped for two weeks.

Out of twenty subjects, only fifteen faithfully complied with the feeding regime and this form the basis for the computation of results.

   Analytical Method Top

After the baseline measurements, the blood specimens were taken and parameters measured at two weeks interval for a period of eight weeks. Blood Pressure values were extracted from the patients' case notes. Triglycerides, total serum cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) concentration were determined by enzymatic method using analytical kits. (Randox Laboratories U.S.A). While low density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), was obtained by deduction. Atherogenic index (A.I.) was calculated using the formula of Abot et al [15] and coronary risk index (C.R.L.) was obtained by the method of Alladi et al [16] . Body mass index was calculated using the method of Garrow and Webster [17] .

   Statistical Analysis Top

The experimental design was completely randomized. The data were analyzed at 95% level of significance using the two-tale Student's test.

   Results Top

[Table 1] shows estimated nutrient intake of subjects between the baseline values and the values in the presence of fruits and vegetables. Reduction was noticed in intake of energy, sodium, fats and related compounds while increased was observed in all other nutrients.

[Table 2] shows Body mass index (BMI) and lipid profiles of the subjects. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were noticed between the baseline values and the eighth-week values for all the parameters except the BMI and HDL cholesterol. Also significant differences (P < 0.05) was noticed between the eighth week values and the tenth week values in Triacylgleride total serum cholesterol, however, no significance difference (P > 0.05) was noticed in BMI and HDL cholesterol.

[Table 3] shows a significant difference (P < 0.05) between the baseline values and the eighth-week values in Atherogenic index and Systolic blood pressure while no significant difference (P > 0.05) was between the eighth-week values and tenth- week values.

   Discussion Top

Serum cholesterol is a major causative agent in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD). Some studies have demonstrated a fall in total serum cholesterol resulting from ingestion of soluble fibre [19],[20] suggesting that high cereal fiber may protect against ischemic heart disease (IHD) as well as high blood pressure, serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Our study with daily intake of ? 3 times of different types of fruit and vegetables totaling 500g for 8 weeks produced significant reduction in systolic blood pressure. The reduction in the blood pressure might be due to significant high level of fibre. It has been shown that African local fruits and vegetables are rich in dietary fibre, which has been reported to have hypotensive and hypocholesterol effects [21] . Replacing animal products with vegetarian diets have shown reduction in blood pressure in normotensive as well as hypertensive individuals [22],[23] .

In a large randomized controlled trial of diet and blood pressure that provided a diet for 8 weeks that included 8.5 or 3.6 (control) servings of vegetables and fruit daily, the participants who consumed the higher vegetable and fruit diet had a greater reduction in systolic and diastolic than did the control subjects [24] .

Elevated serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol concentration, are identified risk factors for coronary artery disease [25],[26] . However, in this study, we observed lower serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol. These results may account for the significant reduction in BP in our patients. A recent study has reported similar observation with 900 effects of garlic may be due to inhibition of hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis [29] .

In another study [21],[22] , African local fruits and vegetables have been shown to be rich in dietary fibre, which have been reported to have hypotensive and hypocholestrolemic effects. The plant sterols have also been shown to produce a reduction of plasma low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and produced prolonged platelet aggregation after collagen epinephrine activation.

Our results indicate that fruits and vegetables associated with lower cardiovascular risk factors; lower BP, cholesterol, triciglycerol and soluble fiber thus preventing premature cardiovascular disorders. We therefore conclude that consumption of a combination of fruits and vegetable may enhance healthier lifestyle resulting in the more favourable status of decreased incidence of cardiovascular risk factors.

   References Top

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2.Nair CH, Shats EA, Dhall DP: Lipid and fibrin matrix: role in atherosclerosis. Fibrinolysis 1996, 10(suppl):58.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.AHA Medical/Scientific statement: The cholesterol fats: A summary of the evidence relating dietary fats, serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease: A joint statement of American Heart Association and its National Heart Lungs and Blood Institute. Circulation 1990, 81:1721-1733.   Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Department of Health, Nutritional aspects of cardiovascular disease: Report of the cardiovascular group. Committee on Medical Aspect of food policy London 1994.   Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Larson B: Obesity and body fat distribution as preditions of coronary heart diseases: Coronoary heart Disease Epidemiology CERON etiology to public health. Edited by: Marot M and Ehot P. Oxford University Press: UK; 1992:233-241.   Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Melby CL, Goldflies DG, Hyner GC, Lyle RM: The relationship between vegetarian and non-vegetarian diet and blood pressure in black and white adults. Am J Public Health 1989, 79:1283-8.   Back to cited text no. 6      
7.Melby CL, Goldfies DG, Toohey ML: Blood pressure differences in older black and white long-term vegetarians T. Am Cell Nutr262-9.   Back to cited text no. 7      
8.Burslem J, Schonfeld G, Howard MA, Weidman SW, Miller JP: Plasma apoprotein and lipoprotein lipids levels in vegetarian Metabolism. 1978, 27:711-9.   Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Famodu AA, Osilesi O, Makinde YO, Osonuga OA: Blood Pressure and blood lipid levels among vegetarian, semi-vegetarian and non-vegetarian native Africans. Clin Biochem 1998, 31(7):545-549.   Back to cited text no. 9      
10.Kannel WB: Pressure as a cardiovascular risk factor: Prevention and Treatment. JAMA 1996, 275(20):1571-6.   Back to cited text no. 10      
11.Weber MA: Hypertension as a risk factor syndrome: therapeutic implications. AMJ Med 1993, 94(4A):24-315.   Back to cited text no. 11      
12.Jekins DJA, Wolever TMS: Dietary fibre in human nutrition. 2nd edition. Edited by: Spiller GA. C.R.C. Press Boca Rantoh F.I; 1993:111-152.   Back to cited text no. 12      
13.Famodu AA, Fayoka EOA, Osilesi O, Ogunledun A, Fakoya TA, Odusoga O, Asemota EI, Fakunle JB, Ogunledun A, Fakoya TA: Dietary influence on blood pressure and haematobiological risk factors for cardiovascular disease in Seventh Day Adventists of the Ilisan Remo Cohort.   Back to cited text no. 13      
14.Olusanya EO: Methodology in collection of food composition data. Manual on food consumption surveys in Developing Countries. Ibadan Univ. Press Nigeria; 1976:16-17.   Back to cited text no. 14      
15.Abot RD, Wilson PWB, Castelli WP: HDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol screening and myocardial infarction. Arteriosclerosis 1988, 8:207-211.   Back to cited text no. 15      
16.Allard JP, Royall D, Kurian R, Muggh R, Jeejeebhoy KN: Effects of B-Carotene supplementation on lipid peroxidation in human. Am J Clin Nutr 1994, 59:884-90.   Back to cited text no. 16      
17.Garrow JS, Webster J: Ouetelets index (w/H2) as a measure of fatness. International Journal of obesity 1985, 9:147-153.   Back to cited text no. 17      
18.Stamler J, Wentworth D, Neaton JD: In relationship between serum cholesterol and risk of premature death from coronary heart disease continuous and graded Findings in 356222 primary sereneness of the Mutiple Risk factor intervention trial (MRPIT). JAMA 1986, 256:2823-8.   Back to cited text no. 18      
19.Jenkins DJA, Leeds AR, Newton C, Cunnings JH: Effect of pectin guar gum and wheat fibre on serum cholesterol. Lancet 1975, 1:1116-7.   Back to cited text no. 19      
20.Anderson JW, Zettwoch N, Feldman T: Cholesterol lowering effects of Psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid for hypercholesterolmic men. Arch Intern Med 1998, 148:292-6.   Back to cited text no. 20      
21.Osilesi O: Influence of Dietary Energy source on hypertensives Nig. J Nutr Sci 1998., 9(i):   Back to cited text no. 21      
22.Osilesi O, Trout DL, Ogunwole JO, Glover E: Blood pressure and plasma lipid during ascorbic acid. Supplementation on boarder line. Hypertensive and normotensive adults Nutr Rs 1991, 11:405-12.   Back to cited text no. 22      
23.Royse IL, Beiling IJ, Armstrong BK, Vandongen R: Blood pressure lowering effect of a vegetarian diet;Controlled trial in normotensive subjects. Lancet 1983, 1:5-10.   Back to cited text no. 23      
24.Margetts BM, Beiling IJ, Vandongen R, Armstrong BK: Vegetarian diet in mild hypertension: a randomized trial. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986, 293:1468-71.   Back to cited text no. 24      
25.Appel IJ, Moore TJ, Obarzanel E: A clinical trial of the effects of dietary patterns on blood pressure. N Engl J Med 1997, 336:1117-24.   Back to cited text no. 25      
26.The Expert Panel. Summary of the second report of the National Cholestrol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on detention, evaluation and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (Adult Treatment Panel II). JAMA 1993, 269:3015-23.   Back to cited text no. 26      
27.Austin MA: Plasma triglyceride and coronary heart disease Arterioscler. Thromb 1997, 11:2-14.   Back to cited text no. 27      
28.Adler AJ, Holub BJ: Effect of garlic and fish oil supplementation, serum lipid and lipoprotein concentration in hypercholesterolemic men. Am J Clin Nutr 1997, 65:445-50.   Back to cited text no. 28      
29.Gebharch R: Multiple Inhibitory effects of garlic extracts on cholesterol biosynthesis in hepatocytes . Lipids 1993 , 28:613-9  Back to cited text no. 29      


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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