The BIDMC study analyzed three cardiovascular biomarkers to learn if diet has a direct influence on cardiac health. Stored blood samples from 412 clinical trial participants in the DASH-Sodium study were evaluated. The biomarkers are measurable blood substances proven to predict cardiovascular events in adults without known cardiovascular disease. Each biomarker is tied to injury, stress or inflammation.
Participants on the DASH diet had cardiac damage biomarkers that dropped by 18% and inflammation biomarkers that dropped by 13%. Participants on the DASH diet that was also reduced-sodium had a 20% decrease in injury biomarkers and a 23% drop in stress biomarkers. This was the biggest drop in the group. Inflammation wasn’t noticeably affected. Additionally, stress biomarkers decreased by 19% in study participants on low sodium diets, whether or not they followed the DASH diet.
“We used highly sensitive markers of subclinical cardiovascular disease to show how two dietary strategies can improve distinct mechanisms of subclinical cardiac injury in a relatively short time period, suggesting that the improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors observed from a reduced-sodium, DASH diet may also reduce concurrent cardiac damage,” Juraschek said. “Our study has important clinical implications, and these findings should strengthen public resolve for public policies that promote the DASH dietary pattern and lower sodium intake in the United States and globally.”