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Study finds dietary fibre critical in managing hypertension


Michelle Wisbey


10/04/2024 4:27:22 PM

Experts are calling for the fibre to be added to clinical guidelines for blood pressure management, saying it is ‘underappreciated’.

Woman getting blood pressure test
Heart disease is responsible for around one quarter of all deaths in Australia.

There is an ‘urgent need’ for GPs to prioritise dietary fibre as part of their patients’ hypertension management, according to new research.
 
Following a large-scale international review, Monash University scientists are pleading for dietary fibre to be added to clinical guidelines for blood pressure management, saying it is a critical tool in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.
 
According to their evidence, female patients with hypertension should have a minimum daily dietary fibre intake of 28 g/day, and 38 g/day for men.
 
Additionally, each extra 5 g/day is estimated to reduce systolic blood pressure by 2.8 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.1 mm Hg – independent of pharmacological interventions.
 
Researchers said this promotes a healthy gut microbiota and the production of short-chain fatty acids to lower blood pressure.
 
However, lead author Associate Professor Francine Marques said dietary fibre remains an underappreciated part of hypertension management.
 
‘Despite numerous guidelines recommending lifestyle modifications as first-line treatment for hypertension, specific recommendations regarding fibre intake have been notably absent,’ she said.
 
‘By incorporating dietary fibre into treatment plans and empowering patients to increase their intake, we can significantly reduce the burden of hypertension and improve cardiovascular outcomes.’
 
The research comes as 18% of Australians live with cardiovascular disease, which accounts for a quarter of all deaths each year.
 
At the same time, around 70% of Australian adults have a fibre intake below what is recommended.
 
About 94% of adults do not meet the recommendations for daily fruit and vegetable consumption, 12% do not eat any fruits, and 1.6% do not eat any vegetables.
 
The team of Monash scientists says with rates of disease remaining elevated and healthy eating habits slipping, healthcare professionals can take proactive steps to address hypertension and promote cardiovascular health.
 
‘Our comprehensive analysis emphasises the evidence supporting the effectiveness of dietary fibre in lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular events,’ Associate Professor Marques said.
 
‘The findings of the review have significant implications for public health initiatives and future hypertension guidelines.’
 
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newsGP weekly poll Which of the below incentive amounts (paid annually) would be sufficient to encourage you to provide eight consultations and two care plans to a residential aged care patient per year?
 
0%
 
1%
 
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newsGP weekly poll Which of the below incentive amounts (paid annually) would be sufficient to encourage you to provide eight consultations and two care plans to a residential aged care patient per year?

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Dr Charles Orighomisan Foss   11/04/2024 12:05:43 PM

This article lacks 'dietary fibre' 😂. Why having written so eloquently about its place in managing hypertension does it fail to tell us at least what these fibres are and how to get the dosing right or even mention a few examples? That would have gotten someone on board immediately. Sorry, your readers did get 'dietary fibre' from this write-up.