“9 A Day” servings of fruit and vegetables and cardiovascular disease risk profiles in postmenopausal women (#163)
Higher intakes than population recommendations, up to 8-10 daily servings of fruit and vegetables (F&V) are often advised for their cardio-protective effects.
To investigate whether increasing consumption of F&V to 9+ servings/day for 3 months will improve cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profiles in postmenopausal women.
Healthy (n=142), non-smoking postmenopausal women (61±4.4yr), either received individualised dietary counselling to increase their F&V consumption from ≤5-≥9 servings/day (n=99) or continued with their habitual diet (control, n=43). Lipid and inflammatory CVD risk markers and nutrient intakes, using 3-day diet records, were assessed at baseline and 3 months.
Average levels of CVD risk markers at baseline indicated moderately increased CVD risk and did not differ between groups. Reported F&V intake increased from 5-9 servings/day in the F&V group while remaining constant, at 6 servings/day, in the control. This lead to significant improvements in several nutrients compared to control, namely increased fibre, riboflavin, vitamins C, E, A, carotene, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and decreased sodium. Total energy and percentage energy from protein, fat and carbohydrate did not differ between groups. No differences were seen between groups in changes from baseline to end in plasma lipid profiles (total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, TG, TC/HDL-C), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 and 10 and tumor necrosis factor-α.
Consumption of 9 reported servings of F&V/day by healthy postmenopausal women did not result in better lipid and inflammatory CVD risk markers compared to 6 reported servings/day. Significant improvements in nutrient intakes associated with 9 servings of F&V/day could affect other CVD risk markers for example blood pressure, oxidant markers and homocysteine and should be further investigated in large randomised controlled trials.
Trial No: ACTRN 12611000763943
Source of funding
National Heart Foundation of New Zealand.