Wondering if you should cut down on red meat and fat to lower your blood pressure? According to a new study, it could depend on your genes…
A recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association illustrates the interaction between genetics and diet. The study looked at blood pressure measurements in twins on a higher carb diet compared to a higher saturated fat diet.
For the first six weeks of the study, the participants, who were non-obese twin pairs, ate a higher-carb diet which consisted of 55% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 15% protein. Blood pressure and other blood markers were measured at the end of the six weeks.
For the second half of the study, the participants switched to a higher-fat diet consisting of 40% carbohydrates, 45% fat, and 15% protein, with the fat mainly being saturated fat from red meat, sausage, bacon, and full-fat dairy.
ACE and blood pressure:
The level of ACE, or angiotensin-converting enzyme, was measured. This enzyme controls blood pressure by constricting blood vessels. ACE inhibitors are a common type of blood pressure medication that works by decreasing or inhibiting the angiotensin-converting enzyme. The ACE gene has a common variant referred to as the ACE deletion/insertion.
ACE Genotype Report:
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Check your genetic data for rs4343 (23andMev4, v5; AncestryDNA):
- A/A: ACE insertion/insertion
- A/G: heterozygous – ACE deletion/insertion
- G/G: ACE deletion/deletion – increased blood pressure on a high-fat diet.
Members: Your genotype for rs4343 is —.
The study found that overall, ACE levels increased by about 15% on the high saturated fat diet, but it did not find a significant increase in blood pressure when looking at the group as a whole.
When segregating by ACE genotype, the study found that those with the G/G genotype (ACE deletion) had twice the average ACE increase on the higher fat diet, and they also had an increase in systolic blood pressure.
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