Consumption of nitrate-containing vegetables is inversely associated with hypertension in adults: a prospective investigation from the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study

J Nephrol. 2016 Jun;29(3):377-384. doi: 10.1007/s40620-015-0229-6. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


Background: There is growing evidence of the potential properties of nitrate-rich foods against development of hypertension (HTN) and vascular disease. In this study, we investigated the association of nitrate-containing vegetables (NCVs) with risk of HTN after 3 years of follow-up.

Methods: This prospective study was conducted on 1546 non-hypertensive subjects, aged 20-70 years. Blood pressure was measured at baseline and after 3 years and HTN was defined by the Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood pressure criteria. Dietary intake was collected using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). NCVs and high-, medium- and low-NCV subcategories were defined, and the odds of HTN after 3 years according to tertiles of NCV and NCV-category intake were estimated by logistic regression and adjusted for potential variables.

Results: Mean age of participants was 38.0 ± 12.0 years at baseline and 57.0 % were women. Mean dietary intake of energy-adjusted NCV was 298.0 ± 177.3 g/day. After adjustment for total energy intake, fiber, sodium, potassium and processed meat, a significant inverse association was observed between NCV and the risk of HTN in the highest tertile category (odds ratio 0.63, 95 % confidence interval: 0.41-0.98, p for trend = 0.05). There was no significant association of 3 year risk of HTN across tertiles of low nitrate-, medium nitrate- and high-nitrate vegetables.

Conclusion: Higher dietary nitrate intake from vegetables sources may have a protective effect against development of HTN.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Fruits and vegetables; Hypertension; Nitrate.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrates / administration & dosage*
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vegetables*


  • Nitrates
  • Nitric Oxide