Article

Potassium excretion in healthy Japanese women was increased by a dietary intervention utilizing home-parcel delivery of Okinawan vegetables.

Department of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara-cho, Okinawa, Japan.
Hypertension Research (Impact Factor: 2.94). 06/2006; 29(6):389-96. DOI: 10.1291/hypres.29.389
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Potassium, which is abundant in vegetables, is inversely related to blood pressure. Although the situation has changed somewhat in recent years, the Okinawan diet has generally included a large amount of vegetables, and until recently Okinawans had the lowest rates of mortality due to stroke and coronary heart disease in Japan. Based on the hypothesis that these low mortality rates are partly attributable to increased potassium intake resulting from the high vegetable consumption, this study examined whether increasing the consumption of typical yellow-green Okinawan vegetables increases potassium intake. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether increased consumption of these vegetables should be one of the dietary modifications recommended in public health promotion programs for Okinawans. The study employed 56 healthy, normotensive, free-living Japanese women aged 18-38 years living in Okinawa. They were randomized to a dietary intervention group (n=27) or a control group (n=29). Members of the dietary intervention group received an average weight of 371.4 g/day of a combination of the following vegetables twice weekly through an express home parcel deliver service for a period of 14 days: Goya (Momordica charantia), green papaya (Carica papaya), Handama (Gynura bicolor), Karashina (Brassica juncea), Njana (Crepidiastrum lanceolatium), Fuchiba (Artemisia vulgaris) and Fudanso (Beta vulgaris); and they consumed an average of 144.9 g/day, resulting in a 20.5% increase in their urinary potassium excretion over the baseline (p=0.045). The members of the control group were asked to avoid these vegetables, and the change in potassium excretion in this group was not significant (p=0.595). Urinary sodium and magnesium excretions, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, folic acid, triglycerides and serum high density lipoprotein cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterols changed non-significantly in both groups. Also, post-intervention urinary potassium excretion correlated positively with vegetable consumption in both the dietary intervention (p<0.0001) and control (p=0.008) groups and with Okinawan vegetable intake in the dietary intervention group (p=0.0004).

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