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Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Date:8/28/2009

New findings replicate similar data for women, experts say,,

FRIDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Men, want to keep high blood pressure at bay? Try reaching for whole grains.

That's the message from a Harvard study that found that whole grain foods and foods high in bran bring a boost to heart health. Although this study is among men, data from the Women's Health Study found similar results, the researchers say.

"Whole grains as a part of a prudent, balanced diet may help promote cardiovascular health," said lead researcher Dr. Alan J. Flint, project director at Harvard School of Public Health of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, on which the new analysis was based. "Higher intake of whole grains was associated with a lower risk of hypertension in our cohort of over 31,000 men," Flint said.

The report is published in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

For the study, Flint's team collected data on 31,684 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. When these men were enrolled in the study, none had high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease or had had a stroke.

During 18 years of follow-up, over 9,200 men developed high blood pressure. The researchers found that men who ate the highest amount of whole grains were 19 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure compared with men who ate the least amount of whole grains.

In addition, men who ate the most bran reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure by 15 percent compared with men who ate the least bran, the study found.

Flint noted that these findings remained even after adjusting their data for other healthy lifestyle and diet factors. "When the associations persist despite these adjustments, as in the current analysis, it supports the conclusion that it is not due to these other factors," he said.

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