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Effects of Mediterranean diet supplemented with lean pork on blood pressure and markers of cardiovascular risk: Findings from the MedPork trial

  • Alexandra T Wade (a1), Courtney R Davis (a1), Kathryn A Dyer (a1), Jonathan M Hodgson (a2), Richard J Woodman (a3) and Karen J. Murphy (a1) (a4)...

Abstract

The Mediterranean diet offers a range of health benefits. However, previous studies indicate that the restricted consumption of red meat in the diet may affect long-term sustainability in non-Mediterranean countries. A 24-week randomised controlled parallel cross-over design compared a Mediterranean diet supplemented with 2–3 serves per week of fresh, lean pork (MedPork) with a low-fat control diet (LF). Thirty-three participants at risk of CVD followed each intervention for 8 weeks, with an 8-week washout period separating interventions. The primary outcome was home-measured systolic blood pressure. Secondary outcomes included diastolic blood pressure, fasting lipids, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein (CRP), body composition and dietary adherence. During the MedPork intervention, participants achieved high adherence to dietary guidelines. Compared with the MedPork intervention, the LF intervention led to greater reductions in weight (Δ = 0·65; 95 % CI: 0·04, 1·25 kg, P = 0·04), BMI (Δ = 0·25; 95 % CI: 0·03, 0·47 kg/m2, P = 0·01) and waist circumference (Δ = 1·40; 95 % CI: 0·45, 2·34 cm, P < 0·01). No significant differences were observed for blood pressure, lipids, glucose, insulin or CRP. These findings indicate that Australians are capable of adhering to a Mediterranean diet with 2–3 weekly serves of fresh, lean pork, which may offer a healthy alternative to LF diets in Australians at risk of CVD. Larger intervention studies are now required to demonstrate clinical efficacy of the diet in populations with elevated blood pressure.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author Karen J Murphy, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, GPO Box 2471 Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Telephone: +61 8 8302 2391, email karen.murphy@unisa.edu.au

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