Effect of diet and exercise intervention on blood pressure, insulin, oxidative stress, and nitric oxide availability

Circulation. 2002 Nov 12;106(20):2530-2. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.0000040584.91836.0d.


Background: Diet and exercise can affect blood pressure and atherosclerotic risk.

Methods and results: The present study was designed to examine the effects of a short-term, rigorous diet and exercise intervention on blood pressure, hyperinsulinemia, and nitric oxide (NO) availability. Men (n=11) were placed on a low-fat, high-fiber diet combined with daily exercise for 45 to 60 minutes for 3 weeks. Pre- and post fasting blood was drawn for serum lipid, insulin, 8-isoprostaglandin F(2alpha) (8-iso-PGF(2alpha)), and glucose measurements. Anthropometric parameters, blood pressure (BP), and 24-hour urinary NO metabolite excretion (NO(X)), a marker of NO bioavailability, were measured. Systolic (P<0.01) and diastolic BP (P<0.01) and 8-iso-PGF(2alpha) decreased (P<0.05), whereas urinary NO(X) increased (P<0.05). There was a significant reduction in fasting insulin (P<0.01) and a significant correlation between the decrease in serum insulin and the increase in urinary NO(X) (r2=0.68, P<0.05). All fasting lipids decreased significantly, and the total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio improved. Although body weight and body mass index (P<0.01) decreased, obesity was still present and there were no correlations between the change in body mass index and the change in insulin, BP, or urinary NO(X).

Conclusions: This intervention resulted in dramatic improvements in BP, oxidative stress, NO availability, and the metabolic profile within 3 weeks, mitigating the risk for atherosclerosis progression and its clinical sequelae.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dinoprost* / analogs & derivatives*
  • Exercise*
  • F2-Isoprostanes / urine
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / urine*
  • Oxidative Stress*


  • F2-Isoprostanes
  • Insulin
  • 8-epi-prostaglandin F2alpha
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Dinoprost