2014 Funding Round – Emerging Researcher First Grant

Dr Katherine Black
University of Otago, Dunedin
Which diet? Dietary interventions and blood pressure
$149,994
24 months

Lay summary

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a key contributor to cardiovascular disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in New Zealand. Lifestyle interventions aimed at attenuating hypertension and cardiovascular disease often have poor long term adherence due to the sheer amount of changes required. This study will examine the impact of changing one significant aspect of diet - the composition of bread - on blood pressure and resulting cardiovascular health.  We will investigate three nutritional components that have been shown to influence blood pressure: sodium (salt), nitrate (beetroot) and L-arginine (hazelnuts). This randomised parallel intervention study will have four arms: low sodium bread, beetroot bread, nut bread and a control bread. Participants will be high bread consumers with elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, and at least one metabolic syndrome risk factor. We anticipate that one simple dietary change - an alternate bread recipe - could lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.

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