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The unfavourable reputation of hypertension is owed to its blood-clotting effects. This is because pressure that exceeds a certain threshold can cause a rupture inside the blood vessels. The main causes of the condition include a lack of exercise and being overweight, but research implicated nutrition as an important influencer on the condition. One drink, that is rich in potassium, could lower hypertension in a short space of time.
Research conducted by the University of Wollongong, in Australia, shows that consuming a single serving of 300 millilitres of plum juice resulted in significantly lowers blood pressure over 24 hours.
The effect, noted the researchers, was more marked in older adults.
The study was conducted using a Japanese variety of plums known as Queen Garnet, which has exceptionally high levels of anthocyanin.
Anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant, is believed to be responsible for the pronounced reductions in blood pressure.
READ MORE: High blood pressure: The oil combo that drives blood pressure down ‘significantly’ in days
Evidence is growing that diets that emphasise these chemicals offer wide-ranging health benefits.
These include improvements in glucose metabolism and significant reductions in inflammation and obesity.
The small-scale study was conducted on a sample of 24 adults, 12 of whom were aged 65 and over, and another 12 who were aged between 18 and 45 years old.
Participants received either one 300ml dose of plum juice or three 100ml doses of juice over a period of three hours on two different occasions, with a two-week washout period. Doses were handed out in a randomised fashion.
The researchers explained: “Blood pressure and urinary anthocyanin/metabolite excretion profiles were measured over 24 hours.
“A significant reduction in blood pressure and cardiovascular responses was observed in both age groups which was more obvious in the older age group on a single dose for systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure and heart rate.”
The team did not observe any significant difference between dose-timing regimens for either age group.
These findings are consistent with a number of other studies, including one which observed significant reductions in blood pressure in hypertensive rats.
A paper published in Pharmacognosy Reviews, that details different herbal remedies to lower blood pressure, cites the research.
The researchers investigated the effects of black plum extract on the blood pressure of rats through oral administration.
The authors explained that blood pressure was significantly reduced within 45 minutes of intake.
They noted: “Both the systolic and diastolic BPs were significantly reduced within 45 minutes after oral administration of the extract.
“The blood pressure began to return to normal after two hours.”
The findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Phytotherapy Research.
Alongside its inimitable antioxidant effects, WebMD adds that plums can be beneficial for blood pressure in other ways.
The health body explains it helps rid the body of sodium through urination, and it reduces tension inside the walls of the blood vessels.
By lowering blood pressure, plums may significantly lower the odds of having a stroke.
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