|| DukeMedNews || Good News for Fruits and Vegetables

Suggested lead: It looks like fresh fruits and vegetables could once again be coming to the rescue, this time as a way of controlling high blood pressure. Tom Britt has more.

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Fresh fruits and vegetables have long been promoted as a preventative for colon and other types of cancer. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center now say they may also help you control your high blood pressure, without medication and without drastically reducing your sodium intake. Pao Hwa Lin [POW-WAH LIN] (of Duke’s Center for Living ) cites recent studies that put a group of people with high blood pressure on a diet that included lots of fresh fruits and vegetables among all the other standard foods in the average diet. After only two weeks, their blood pressure dropped to levels previously attainable only with medication.

“In the diet that we designed, sodium was at moderate levels. It was slightly below average American consumption, but nowhere near throwing-the-salt-shaker-into-the-trash-can type of levels. It’s not that restrictive.”

Another study is currently underway to determine what effects you actually would have if you lower your sodium intake while on this diet rich in fruits and vegetables. I’m Tom Britt.

Pao Hwa Lin says researchers are now looking further into the relationship between sodium, high blood pressure, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

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“We are doing a study right now to find out what if you lower your sodium even more. Would it bring your blood pressure down even more? Or, if we increase the sodium intake, would it be beneficial or would it be worse? We don’t know.”