Decreasing phosphate intake could lower the risk of heart disease, suggest researchers. This is the first time the connection between a high phosphate diet and atherosclerosis - the cause of heart disease - has been proven.
Foods high in phosphates include biscuits, cakes, sweets, dairy products and meats such as offal and veal.
The research showed that cholesterol deposits in the artery walls are increased by a higher phosphate diet. This leads to narrowing of the arteries, which is the cause of most heart attacks and strokes.
"This is a very early, but exciting finding, as it suggests that by reducing the amount of phosphate in the blood we may have discovered a new approach to reducing heart disease," said Dr Tim Chico from the University's Department of Cardiovascular Science, who led the research.
The findings have been published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.