Whole grain foods reduce blood pressure, scientists say

Porridge Foods such as porridge have been highlighted as reducing blood pressure

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Eating whole grain foods can significantly reduce blood pressure, according to scientists.

The University of Aberdeen team said foods such as wholemeal cereal, porridge, bread and oatcakes could have major health benefits.

More than 200 volunteers took part in the study.

Dr Frank Thies, who led the research, said the findings could be seen as especially good news for Scottish food producers.

The volunteers in the study received three servings every day of whole grain foods.

The whole grain diets were compared with one that contained the same amounts of refined cereals and white bread.

Dr Thies, a senior lecturer at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, said volunteers eating wholegrain had a drop in blood pressure similar to that expected from blood pressure-lowering drugs.

He said: "This drop in systolic blood pressure could potentially decrease the incidence of heart attack and stroke disease by at least 15% and 25% respectively."

The study has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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