First study with objective measures to examine the diet of 25,000 people.
People on a diet high in flavanol-rich foods and beverages, including tea, apples and berries, could result in lower blood pressure, according to the first study using objective measures to feed thousands of UK residents.
The results, published in Scientific Reports, looked at the diets of more than 25,000 people in rfolk, UK, and compared what they ate to their blood pressure. Unlike most other studies that looked at diet-health links, the researchers did not rely on study participants to report their diet, but measured flavanol intake objectively using dietary biomarkers – food intake indicators Metabolism or nutritional status present in our blood.
The difference in blood pressure between those with the lowest 10% of the flavanol intake and those with the highest 10% of the intake was between 2 and 4 mmHg. This is similar to significant changes in blood pressure seen in people following a Mediterranean diet or a diet to combat hypertension (DASH). tably, the effect was more pronounced in participants with high blood pressure.
Professor Gunter Kuhnle, a nutritionist at the University of Reading who led the study, said:
“Previous studies with large populations always relied on self-reported data to draw conclusions. However, this is the first epidemiological study of this magnitude that has objectively examined the relationship between a particular bioactive compound and health. We are pleased to see that there was also a significant and significant association between flavanol consumption and lower blood pressure in our study.
“This study gives us an objective finding about the relationship between flavanols – which are contained in tea and some fruits – and blood pressure. This research confirms the results of previous intervention studies and shows that the same results can be obtained with a habit-rich diet high in flavanols. In the British diet, the main sources are tea, cocoa, apples and berries.
“The methodology of the study is equally important. This is one of the largest studies ever done on the use of nutrient biomarkers to study bioactive compounds. The use of nutrient biomarkers to estimate the uptake of bioactive food compounds has long been considered the gold standard for research because it can be used to objectively measure intake. The development, validation and application of the biomarker was only possible thanks to the long-term commitment of all employees. In contrast to self-reported nutritional data, nutritional biomarkers can take into account the enormous variability in food composition. We can therefore safely attribute the observed associations to the uptake of flavanol. "
An international team from the University of Reading, Cambridge University, the University of California Davis and Mars, Incorporated examined 25,618 participants from the rfolk European Prospective Investigation in Cancer (EPIC) study and found that the largest difference was seen in participants with the highest blood pressure. This suggests that the overall incidence of cardiovascular disease may decrease as the general public increases their flavanol intake.
Hagen Schroeter, Chief Science Officer at Mars Edge, said:
“This study adds important insights to a growing body of evidence supporting the health and nutritional benefits of flavanols. Even more exciting, however, was the ability to use objective biomarkers for large-scale flavanol uptake. This allowed the team to avoid the significant limitations associated with previous approaches based on estimating intake based on self-reported food consumption data and the shortcomings of current food composition databases. "
Reference: October 21, 2020, Scientific Reports.
DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-020-74863-7
The study was supported with an unrestricted grant from Mars, Incorporated, and two co-authors are Mars staff. The study worked with the EPIC rfolk population cohort, which recognizes funding from the Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK.