Study Results of the DASH diet

The DASH study showed that dietary patterns can and do affect blood pressure in the normal to moderately hypertensive adult population (systolic < 180 mm Hg & diastolic of 80 to 95 mm Hg). . Respectively, the DASH or “combination” diet lowered blood pressures by an average of 5.5 and 3.0 mm Hg for systolic and diastolic, compared to the control diet. The minority portion of the study sample and the hypertensive portion, from baseline, both showed the largest reductions in blood pressure from the combination diet against the control diet. The hypertensive subjects experienced a drop of 11.4 mm Hg in their systolic and 2.1 mm Hg in their diastolic phases. The fruits-and-vegetables diet was also successful, although it produced more modest reductions over the control diet (2.8 mm Hg systolic and 1.1 mm Hg diastolic). In the subjects with and without hypertension, the combination diet effectively reduced blood pressure more than the fruits-and-vegetables diet or the control diet did. The data indicated that reductions in blood pressure occurred within two weeks of subjects’ starting their designated diets, which were favorable results, and that the results were generalizable to the target sample of the U.S. population. Side effects were negligible, but the NEJM study reports that constipation was evidently a problem for some of the subjects. At the end of the intervention phase, 10.1, 5.4 & 4.0 percent of the subjects reported this problem for the control, fruits-and-vegetables and combination diets, respectively. Apart from only one subject (on the control diet) who was suffering from cholecystitis, other gastrointestinal symptoms had a low rate of incidence.