Increasing dietary insoluble fiber intake may markedly lower systolic blood pressure.

Whole wheat and wheat bran foods are abundant dietary sources of insoluble fiber. GS Aljuraiban, from Imperial College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 2,195 men and women, ages 40 to 59 years, enrolled in the INTERnational study on MAcro/micronutrients and blood Pressure (INTERMAP) study.  During four visits, the team collected blood pressure, dietary surveys, and urine samples.  Data analysis revealed that a total fiber intake higher by 6.8 g/4184 kilojoules  (6.8 g/1000 kcal) associated with a 1.69 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and reduced to -1.01 mmHg after adjustment for urinary potassium. Insoluble fiber intake higher by 4.6 g/4184 kilojoules (4.6 g/1000 kcal) associated with a 1.81 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure.  No changes to blood pressure were seen for soluble fiber intake.  The study authors conclude that: “higher intakes of fibre, especially insoluble, may contribute to lower BP, independent of nutrients associated with higher intakes of fibre-rich foods.”

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