Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Responses following Dietary Protein Intake in Older Men

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MDPI (Basel, Switzerland)
Postprandial hypotension (PPH) occurs frequently in older people >65 years old. Protein-rich supplements, particularly whey protein (WP), are increasingly used by older people for various health benefits. We have reported that 70 g WP drinks cause significant, and in some cases marked, falls in blood pressure (BP) in older men. The effects of lower, more widely used, doses (~30 g) on systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure and heart rate (HR) are not known. In a randomized order, eight older men (age: 72 ± 1 years; body mass index (BMI): 25 ± 1 kg/m2) after overnight fast ingested a drink containing (i) a non-caloric control (~2 kcal), (ii) 30 g of whey protein (120 kcal; ‘WP30’), or (iii) 70 g of whey protein (280 kcal; ‘WP70’). The BP and HR were measured in this pilot study with an automated device before and at 3-min intervals for 180 min following drink ingestion. Drink condition effects were determined by repeated-measures ANOVA. The SBP decreased after both WP drinks compared to the control (p = 0.016), particularly between 120 and 180 min, with no difference in the effects of WP30 and WP70. The SBP decreased by ≥20 mmHg in more than 50% of people after both WP drinks (WP30: 63%; WP70: 75%) compared to 38% after the control. The maximum fall in the SBP occurred during the third hour, with the nadir occurring latest after WP70. The DBP decreased non-significantly by several mmHg more after the WP drinks than after the control. The maximum HR increases occurred during the third hour, with the greatest increase after WP70. The SBP decreased after both WP drinks compared to the control, with the effects most evident between 120 and 180 min. Accordingly, ingestion of even relatively modest protein loads in older men has the potential to cause PPH.
aging, blood pressure diet, heart rate, whey protein, Aged, Blood Pressure, Dietary Proteins, Heart Rate, Humans, Hypotension, Male, Pilot Projects, Whey Proteins
Nutrients, 2022, 14 (9)