People with high blood pressure take longer and work harder to remove fat from the blood after meals and have higher levels of inflammation after eating.
The research, published today in Nutrients by researchers at King’s, identified that this link is largely due to visceral fat – the fat that wraps around your organs in your belly.
This suggests that reducing belly fat may be particularly important for improving the body’s responses to food in people with high blood pressure.
People with high blood pressure are more likely to have higher levels of visceral fat than people with normal blood pressure. Our study found that this visceral fat is indeed responsible for a considerable amount of the difference we see in post-meal blood fat and insulin levels between these two groups.– First author and TwinsUK researcher Panayiotis Louca
The research was part of ongoing analysis of data collected during the PREDICT study, where 1,000 participants – including several hundred members of TwinsUK – had their bodies’ responses to food measured over a period of two weeks.
Previous studies have shown that people with high blood pressure have higher baseline levels of blood lipids, insulin, and inflammation than people with normal blood pressure, and higher blood lipids after a fatty meal. . The present study, however, was the first to investigate and compare the responses between the two groups after a nutritionally balanced meal.
Lead author Dr Cristina Menni, from the School of Life Course & Population Sciences and researcher at TwinsUK, said: ‘We would like to thank all the participants who spent a full day in the clinic and then two weeks meticulously recording their meals and collect blood samples at home. It is thanks to your dedication that we can advance health research.