Send to

Choose Destination
Public Health Nutr. 2008 Dec;11(12):1397-406. doi: 10.1017/S136898000800342X. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

A food-based dietary strategy lowers blood pressure in a low socio-economic setting: a randomised study in South Africa.

Author information

Chronic Diseases of Lifestyle Unit, Medical Research Council, South Africa.

Erratum in

  • Public Health Nutr. 2009 Feb;12(2):284.



To assess the impact of a food-based intervention on blood pressure (BP) in free-living South African men and women aged 50-75 years, with drug-treated mild-to-moderate hypertension.


A double-blind controlled trial was undertaken in eighty drug-treated mild-to-moderate hypertensive subjects randomised to an intervention (n 40) or control (n 40) arm. The intervention was 8-week provision of six food items with a modified cation content (salt replacement (SOLO ), bread, margarine, stock cubes, soup mix and a flavour enhancer) and 500 ml of maas (fermented milk)/d. The control diet provided the same quantities of the targeted foods but of standard commercial composition and 500 ml/d of artificially sweetened cooldrink.


The intervention effect estimated as the contrast of the within-diet group changes in BP from baseline to post-intervention was a significant reduction of 6.2 mmHg (95 % CI 0.9, 11.4) for systolic BP. The largest intervention effect in 24 h BP was for wake systolic BP with a reduction of 5.1 mmHg (95 % CI 0.4, 9.9). For wake diastolic BP the reduction was 2.7 mmHg (95 % CI -0.2, 5.6).


Modification of the cation content of a limited number of commonly consumed foods lowers BP by a clinically significant magnitude in treated South African hypertensive patients of low socio-economic status. The magnitude of BP reduction provides motivation for a public health strategy that could be adopted through lobbying of the food industry by consumer and health agencies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center