High-fat diets are bad for blood pressure in both younger males and females, revealed a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology. Blood pressure is the pressure on blood vessels, during the time of blood circulation. Speaking about the study, Dr. Jennifer C. Sullivan of Augusta University said, "You have a lot of people consuming high-fat diets and we don't know enough about what effect it's having on females." For the study, the team looked at young males and female Dahl salt-sensitive rats, bred to become hypertensive in response to a high-salt diet. "Since women are more likely to be obese than men and the association between increases in body weight and blood pressure is stronger in women, we wanted to see if the same response occurs in the female as well," said Sullivan, the study's corresponding author.
The findings revealed that usual cardiovascular protection afforded to younger females is compromised heavily due to high fat consumption. It is interesting to note that while young male rats, like male humans, started out with higher blood pressure than their female counterparts, both sexes happened to experience a comparable degree of increase in blood pressure levels."You put them on high salt, and the males have a bigger increase in pressure; you put them on fat, and males and females have the same increase in pressure," Sullivan said.
It is also important to note that in both sexes, the high-fat diet also increased inflammation-promoting T cells and decreased the number of inflammation-dampening regulatory T cells, or Tregs, in the aorta, the biggest blood vessel in the body which they studied as an example of what was happening inside blood vessels. The scientists revealed that females normally have a higher percentage of Tregs, which help them decrease blood pressure, and while both males and females experienced the decrease, the females maintained that higher percentage regardless of what they consumed.
Our kidneys happen to play a very instrumental role in regulating blood pressure. The scientists revealed that in kidneys, they found increase in inflammation-promoting T cells in both sexes but a greater increase in males.
Sullivan reiterated that the changes – in males and females alike – were independent of a significant weight gain and occurred in just four weeks."To me it really highlights the importance of understanding what you are eating," said Sullivan. "I think we may be underestimating how bad a consistently high-fat diet is for us."
The findings suggested that the high-fat diet actually went on to decrease blood levels of triglycerides, which is a type of fat considered to be a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, in the males but increased in females. It must be noted that cholesterol and blood glucose levels were not really impacted greatly in either sex.
(With inputs ANI)