This randomized dietary intervention trial examined the effects of a high fruit diet on systemic BP in African-Americans. Thirty-eight free-living subjects with systolic BPs between 130-159 mm Hg and diastolic BPs between 85-99 mm Hg, were enrolled for a six week period. The cases were given daily supplements of potassium rich foods: bananas, orange juice and raisins, while no dietary advice or food was given to the controls.

After six weeks, the means systolic BP was 5.79 mm Hg ( p=.009) lower in the cases than the controls. The mean diastolic BP at week six was 3.76 mm Hg (p=.047) lower in the cases than the controls. Analysis of the study participants who had mild hypertension, revealed a mean reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after six weeks of 12.6 mm Hg (p=.131) and 6.53 mm Hg (p=.014) respectively in the cases when compared to the controls. The systolic BP drop for the cases was significant at 14.42 mm Hg (p=.02) after three weeks. High levels of fruit intake (6 to 8 servings/day) was correlated with a significant (P<.05) mean drop in blood pressure (6 to 8.19 mm Hg) in the cases when compared to the controls who consumed one or fewer servings of fruit per day.

The results of this study suggest that a diet high in potassium rich fruits such as bananas, orange juice and raisins is an effective approach to lowering BP in individuals with mild hypertension.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Glen Blix

Second Advisor

Susanne Montgomery

Third Advisor

Warren Peters

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Blood Pressure -- African Americans -- United States; Vegetables; Nutrition; Hypertension -- diet therapy; Fruit.



Page Count

xi; 120

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


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