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Blueberries for a natural lowering of blood pressure
An English research team discovered a natural method for lowering blood pressure: blueberries. The daily consumption of 200 grams of blueberries had a comparably lowering effect on blood pressure in the study participants examined than common medications for hypertension. The blueberries can also be drunk as juice for the effect.
As part of a study, researchers from King's College in London showed that blueberries are suitable for reducing blood pressure naturally and that daily consumption leads to an improvement in the blood vessels. Over the course of a month, participants' blood pressure was reduced by five mmHg after drinking juice from 200 grams of blueberries daily. According to the researchers, this is comparable to what is usually observed with medicines for lowering blood pressure. The study results were recently published in the "Journal of Gerontology Series A".
Blueberries instead of pills
The subjects in the study received a drink that consisted of 200 grams of blueberries every day for over a month. Just two hours after the first dose, the researchers discovered the first effects on the blood vessels, which continued overnight until the next day.
Plant dyes produce the hypotensive effect
Through several control experiments, the researchers came to the conclusion that the high proportion of anthocyanins in the blueberries is responsible for the hypotensive effect. Anthocyanins are water-soluble plant dyes that give fruits an intense red, violet or blue color. "The majority of the effects can be explained by anthocyanins," summarizes the lead nutritionist of the study Dr. Ana Rodriguez-Mateos in a press release on the study results.
In addition to blueberries, blackberries or elderberries, for example, also contain high proportions of the plant pigment. However, the study did not check whether these also lead to lower blood pressure. Even if the juice of the blueberries was sufficient to achieve the anti-hypertension effect, Dr. recommends Rodriguez-Mateos eating the fruits whole. Because you also have the full benefit of the fiber, minerals and vitamins it contains.
Improved functioning of the blood vessels and lymph channels
In addition to the lowered blood pressure, the research team also found that the blood vessels improved. The plant dyes of the blueberry seem to have a positive effect on the endothelial cells. These cells are found in the inner wall layer of all blood and lymphatic vessels. According to the researchers, these cells play a key role in blood clotting and in regulating blood pressure.
Risk of cardiovascular diseases drops by 20 percent
"If the changes in blood vessel functions are maintained after the daily consumption of blueberries, this reduces the risk of heart diseases by up to 20 percent," emphasizes the nutritionist. Thus, the plant pigment anthocyanin comes into consideration as a new means of naturally lowering blood pressure. (vb)