Aims: Dietary fiber intake, especially viscous soluble fiber, has been established as a means to reduce cardiometabolic risk factors. Whether this is true for blood pressure remains controversial. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to investigate the effects of viscous soluble fiber supplementation on blood pressure and quantify the effect of individual fibers.
Data synthesis: MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched. We included RCTs of ≥4-weeks in duration assessing viscous fiber supplementation from five types: β-glucan from oats and barley, guar gum, konjac, pectin and psyllium, on systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Study data were pooled using the generic inverse variance method with random effects models and expressed as mean differences (MD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Twenty-two (N = 1430) and twenty-one RCTs (N = 1343) were included in the final analysis for SBP and DBP, respectively. Viscous fiber reduced SBP (MD = -1.59 mmHg [95% CI: -2.72,-0.46]) and DBP (MD = -0.39 mmHg [95% CI: -0.76,-0.01]) at a median dose of 8.7 g/day (1.45-30 g/day) over a median follow-up of 7-weeks. Substantial heterogeneity in SBP (I2 = 72%, P < 0.01) and DBP (I2 = 67%, P < 0.01) analysis occurred. Within the five fiber types, SBP reductions were observed only for supplementation using psyllium fiber (MD = -2.39 mmHg [95% CI: -4.62,-0.17]).
Conclusion: Viscous soluble fiber has an overall lowering effect on SBP and DBP. Inclusion of viscous fiber to habitual diets may have additional value in reducing CVD risk via improvement in blood pressure.
Protocol registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier-NCT02670967.
Keywords: Blood pressure; Guar gum; Konjac; Meta-analysis; Pectin; Psyllium; Viscous soluble fiber; β-Glucan.
Copyright © 2017 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.