Fruits and vegetables lower blood pressure and slash medication costs for kidney disease patients

The cost of antihypertensive drugs nearly halved when researchers assigned patients to eat alkali-inducing fruit and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables in a farmers' market stall

Hypertension can cause chronic kidney disease (CKD), often leading to excess acid in the blood. This can be treated with the oral alkali sodium bicarbonate or alkali-inducing fruits and vegetables, which can also lower blood pressure.

Researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, conducted a randomised trial to see if fruits and vegetables could help stage 3 CKD patients manage their hypertension. 

Over five years, the 36 patients given fruits and vegetables used fewer antihypertensive medicines, costing $79,760 per person. This compared with $155,372 for oral alkali (n=36) and $152,305 for no oral alkali (n=36). 

Systolic blood pressure averaged 125mmHg for fruits and vegetables, 135mmHg for oral alkali and 134mmHg for no oral alkali. 

The researchers say their results, presented at the Council on Hypertension Scientific Sessions[1]
in Orlando, Florida on 14–17 September 2016, should support clinicians to consider the benefits of fruits and vegetables for CKD.


[1] Goraya N, Simoni J, Pruszynski J, et al. Blood pressure control is better and less expensive in chronic kidney disease when associated metabolic acidosis is treated with fruits and vegetables rather than sodium bicarbonate. Council on Hypertension Scientific Sessions, Orlando, Florida, 14–17 September 2016.

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, October 2016, Vol 8, No 10;8(10):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201716

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