A Concentrated Fruit Juice That Lowers Blood Pressure

Drinking this uncommon juice can lower blood pressure.

Drinking this uncommon juice can lower blood pressure.

The lingonberry is a tiny red berry similar to a cranberry, but powerful enough to improve blood vessel function, research finds.

Drinking lingonberry juice in the long-term will lower blood pressure by widening the blood vessels and relaxing the smooth muscle cells within the arteries.

Many people experience elevated blood pressure and many are at risk of vascular disease caused by disturbances in blood vessel function.

Nutrition, in addition to medicatio, plays an essential role in managing hypertension and related disorders, like heart disease.

An experimental study found that an eight-week treatment with concentrated lingonberry juice reduced blood pressure in hypertensive rats.

Berries, tea, cocoa, vegetables and fruits rich in polyphenol, an antioxidant, have been shown to improve cardiovascular health.

Nordic berries such as lingonberry, blackcurrant, cranberry and bilberry are excellent sources of polyphenols, including flavonoids, anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins.

Lingonberry juice given to genetically hypertensive rats stopped the expression of genes causing inflammation in the aorta but other berry juices were not as effective.

It is possible that lingonberry juice has an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing the serum levels of certain hormones that are responsible for increasing blood pressure.

It also enhances nitric oxide production which in turn makes blood vessels widen and improves vascular function.

Ms Anne Kivimäki, the study’s author, said:

“‘These experimental findings need evidence from comparative clinical studies on healthy individuals with slightly elevated blood pressure who, at this point, have been given nutritional and lifestyle guidance instead of drug therapy.

Lingonberry juice is no substitute for medication, but it is a good dietary supplement.

The study was accessed through E-thesis service Helsingin yliopisto (Kivimäki et al., 2019).

High Blood Pressure: The Best Time To Take Pills

Taking blood pressure pills at the right time halves the risk of heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

Taking blood pressure pills at the right time halves the risk of heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

Blood pressure pills are much more effective if taken at bedtime, an easy behaviour that could greatly reduce the risk of heart disease.

A study has found that, unlike patients who take their medications for high blood pressure in the morning, those who routinely take their pills before going to bed respond better to the treatment.

The researchers followed 9,000 patients for 6 years to see if taking anti-hypertensive medication at night or in the morning has a better effect on cardiovascular disease.

The risk of dying from or having a heart attack, stroke, and heart failure reduced by nearly half in patients who took their medications at bedtime.

These patients had a 66 percent lower risk of death from heart or blood vessel problems as opposed to those who took their medication in the morning.

Taking medications at bedtime also lowered the risk of:

  • stroke by 49 percent,
  • myocardial infarction, which is a type of heart attack, by 44 percent,
  • heart failure by 42 percent,
  • and coronary revascularisation by 40 percent.

Professor Ramón C. Hermida, the study’s first author, said:

“Current guidelines on the treatment of hypertension do not mention or recommend any preferred treatment time.

Morning ingestion has been the most common recommendation by physicians based on the misleading goal of reducing morning blood pressure levels.

The results of this study show that patients who routinely take their anti-hypertensive medication at bedtime, as opposed to when they wake up, have better-controlled blood pressure and, most importantly, a significantly decreased risk of death or illness from heart and blood vessel problems.”

The human body’s circadian rhythms or biological clock might have an impact on the absorption of anti-hypertensive drugs since they influence hormone production and digestion.

In this study, those who took their medicine at bedtime had considerably lower blood pressure during the day.

The bedtime treatment lowered their blood pressure even more at night in comparison to patients who were taking their drugs each morning.

Professor Hermida said:

“The findings — indicate that average blood pressure levels while asleep and night-time blood pressure dipping, but not day-time blood pressure or blood pressure measured in the clinic, are jointly the most significant blood pressure-derived markers of cardiovascular risk.”

The study was published in European Heart Journal (Hermida et al., 2019).

High Blood Pressure Damages These Critical Brain Regions (M)

High blood pressure is thought to affect almost one-in-three people around the world, with a further third at risk.

High blood pressure is thought to affect almost one-in-three people around the world, with a further third at risk.

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5 Foods And Drinks That Reduce Blood Pressure

The foods and drink that lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

The foods and drink that lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

Eating berries, nuts, cocoa products, apples, and drinking tea have been found to improve blood circulation and vascular health.

These foods and drink are rich in flavanols, a type of polyphenol that has powerful antioxidant effects.

A diet high in flavanols is an effective way to reduce blood pressure and prevent cardio-vascular diseases.

A UK study of more than 25,000 people examined the link between flavanols as bioactive compounds and human health.

They found that people with high blood pressure have lower flavanol levels than those with normal blood pressure.

Between the lowest and highest levels of flavanol intake there was a 4 mmHg difference in blood pressure.

This means a diet rich in flavanols has the same effect in reducing blood pressure as a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet or a Mediterranean diet.

Professor Gunter Kuhnle, the study’s senior author, said:

“What this study gives us is an objective finding about the association between flavanols — found in tea and some fruits — and blood pressure.

This research confirms the results from previous dietary intervention studies and shows that the same results can be achieved with a habitual diet rich in flavanols.

In the British diet, the main sources are tea, cocoa, apples and berries.”

The beneficial effect of flavanols on vascular function was even higher for those with the highest blood pressure.

These findings suggest that the incidence of cardiovascular disease will reduce if people increase their intake of flavanol-rich foods and drinks.

Flavanols are a class of flavonoids able to reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which decreases heart disease risk.

A study by Johnson et al., found that participants who ate a daily intake of one cup of blueberries after 8 weeks had a 7 mm/Hg reduction in their systolic blood pressure and 5 mm/Hg reduction in their diastolic blood pressure.

The effect of lowering blood pressure and arterial stiffness may be due to a rise in nitric oxide production in the blood vessels.

These antioxidants have an anti-inflammatory effect as well as increasing the production of nitric oxide in the body.

Dr Hagen Schroeter, study co-author, said:

“This study adds key insights to a growing body of evidence supporting the benefits of dietary flavanols in health and nutrition.

But, perhaps even more exciting was the opportunity to apply objective biomarkers of flavanol intake at a large scale.

This enabled the team to avoid the significant limitations that come with past approaches which rely on estimating intake based on self-reported food consumption data and the shortcomings of current food composition databases.”

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports (Ottaviani et al., 2020).

This 4-in-1 Pill For Blood Pressure Is Most Effective

A single pill containing four medicines is highly effective for treating blood pressure.

A single pill containing four medicines is highly effective for treating blood pressure.

Nearly half of the adult population of the United States and one-third of the world-wide population has high high blood pressure.

Hypertension is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke yet the strategies to control the condition remain poor.

A study offers a solution for treating high blood pressure by giving patients a pill containing a quarter dose of four common medicines.

The quadpill which contains irbesartan, amlodipine, indapamide and bisoprolol has been shown to be more successful in treating hypertension than the routine practice of relying on a single drug.

The results come from an Australian clinical trial which shows that within three months 81 percent of participants on the quadpill had their blood pressure under control while this was 62 percent for the control group who were receiving the best care but were taking a single drug.

Normally, doctors put patients on one medication, but if the drug is not found effective they will add or change the drug, however, the approach remains unsuccessful in most cases.

Professor Clara Chow, the study’s first author, hinted that hypertension control rates are poor:

“Statistics on the global burden of high blood pressure this week show that there’s been a doubling in the past 30 years of hypertension cases—the leading cause of the world’s top killer: heart attack and stroke.”

Dr. Emily Atkins, study co-author, said:

“In settings with high levels of specialist care and full access to a range of existing blood pressure medicines—like the centers in this trial—the improved reduction in blood pressure with this strategy would be expected to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by about 20 percent.

In settings with little or no existing hypertension treatment, the benefits would be much greater.”

The study was published in The Lancet  (Chow et al., 2021).

An Indoor Activity That Lowers Blood Pressure More Than Walking

An indoor activity found to diminish high blood pressure more effectively than walking.

An indoor activity found to diminish high blood pressure more effectively than walking.

Physicians have typically prescribed walking as part of the treatment plan for their patients with high blood pressure (hypertension).

However, according to a recent study, stretching is more effective than brisk walking for people with hypertension or those at increased risk of developing it.

Hypertension, despite being a major risk factor for heart disease, can easily be controlled if patients follow some lifestyle changes.

One of these changes is doing 30-minute stretching exercises for five days a week.

Dr Phil Chilibeck, study’s co-author, said:

“Everyone thinks that stretching is just about stretching your muscles.

But when you stretch your muscles, you’re also stretching all the blood vessels that feed into the muscle, including all the arteries.

If you reduce the stiffness in your arteries, there’s less resistance to blood flow.”

The finding that stretching can lower hypertension has been supported by earlier research, but this is the first time that stretching has been compared with fast walking.

For this study, 40 adults with high blood pressure were randomly divided into two groups to do either stretching exercises or walking for 8 weeks.

One group did 30-minute full-body stretches five days a week and the second group did walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

The participants’ blood pressure was monitored over a full day wearing a blood pressure cuff device.

The results showed that stretching led to a greater reduction of blood pressure than walking.

However, during those eight weeks, the walkers lost more belly fat than the stretching group.

Thus the authors advise people to do stretching exercises along with routine walks.

Dr Chilibeck said:

“I don’t want people to come away from our research thinking they shouldn’t be doing some form of aerobic activity.

Things like walking, biking, or cross-country skiing all have a positive effect on body fat, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar.”

Dr Chilibeck assumes yoga or a shorter stretching session than 30 minutes, if focused on the leg muscles, especially the hamstrings and quadriceps, would produce a similar effect on lowering blood pressure as found in the present study.

Dr Chilibeck said:

“The beauty of stretching is that it’s so easy to incorporate into a person’s daily routine.

You’re not at the mercy of the weather and it’s easy on your joints—a big plus for people with osteoarthritis.

And it doesn’t require a big commitment of time, another barrier to exercise for many people.

When you’re relaxing in the evening, instead of just sitting on the couch, you can get down on the floor and stretch while you’re watching TV.”

The study was published in the  Journal of Physical Activity and Health (Ko et al., 2020).

High Blood Pressure: One Fun Activity That Treats Hypertension

High blood pressure — known to doctors as hypertension — is a risk factor for heart disease.

High blood pressure — known to doctors as hypertension — is a risk factor for heart disease.

Single women who take part in regular social activities have lower blood pressure, research finds.

However, social isolation and loneliness increase the risk of high blood pressure in women.

High blood pressure — known to doctors as hypertension — is a risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among women.

The study found that widowed, socially inactive women living on their own were at the highest risk of hypertension.

Dr Annalijn Conklin, study co-author, said:

“Among older adults, social isolation is the largest known risk factor for mortality, equal only to smoking.

Less well known is how social isolation affects men and women differently, or how it affects biomarkers of longevity.

Our research indicates that women, in particular, are more likely to be hypertensive when they experience isolation in middle and older age.”

The study included data from almost 30,000 people aged 45 to 85 in Canada.

The results showed that women without a partner who had fewer than three social activities per month were at the highest risk of hypertension.

Dr Conklin said:

“Among women, the increase in blood pressure that was associated with the lack of social ties was similar to that seen with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory use, increased sodium diets pollution or weight gain.

This represents a significant women-specific risk factor for heart disease or stroke.”

Among men, the results were quite different.

Those who had a large social network and shared their home with others had higher blood pressure.

Men who lived alone and had fewer social ties had lower blood pressure.

Dr Conklin said:

“Taken with our previous research, our new findings underline how social isolation affects health in men and women differently.

At a time when COVID-19 is forcing us to limit our social interactions, it’s important for those working in health care and public health to encourage older women, in particular, to find new ways to be socially active.”

The study was published in the Journal of Hypertension (Zeinab et al., 2020).

These Blood Pressure Meds Fight Memory Loss

Almost half of Americans are living with high blood pressure and it is a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, along with other diseases.

Almost half of Americans are living with high blood pressure and it is a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, along with other diseases.

Two types of blood pressure medications are linked to better memory over time, a review of the research reveals.

Both ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers could reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment by almost one-fifth.

Mild cognitive impairment, characterised by problems with memory, language and thinking greater than those expected with age, can be a precursor to dementia.

Dr Daniel A. Nation, study co-author, said:

“Research has been mixed on which medicines have the most benefit to cognition.

Studies of angiotensin II receptor blockers and angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have suggested these medicines may confer the greatest benefit to long-term cognition, while other studies have shown the benefits of calcium channel blockers and diuretics on reducing dementia risk.”

The researchers looked at 14 different studies including almost 13,000 people across six countries.

The results showed that the drugs linked to better memory recall crossed the blood-brain barrier.

People in the studies were primarily taking the drugs for high blood pressure.

Almost half of Americans are living with high blood pressure and it is a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, along with other diseases.

Dr Nation said:

“Hypertension occurs decades prior to the onset of dementia symptoms, affecting blood flow not only in the body but also to the brain.

Treating hypertension is likely to have long-term beneficial effects on brain health and cognitive function later.”

These are the names of common drugs that do cross the blood-brain barrier that are used to treat hypertension:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors): enalapril, lisinopril, ramipril, captopril, benazepril.
  • Angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARBs, sartans): valsartan, candesartan, losartan, irbesartan.

Dr Jean K. Ho, the study’s first author, said:

“These findings represent the most powerful evidence to-date linking brain-penetrant ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers to better memory.

It suggests that people who are being treated for hypertension may be protected from cognitive decline if they medications that cross the blood-brain barrier.”

Blood pressure is considered elevated above 120/80 mm/Hg although medication is not normally recommended until the reading is 140/90 mm/Hg.

Between the two readings, people are told to modify their diet and exercise habits.

The study was published in the journal Hypertension (Ho et al., 2021).

The Surprising Effect Of Coffee On Blood Pressure

Lower blood pressure linked to one of the most popular drinks in the world.

Lower blood pressure linked to one of the most popular drinks in the world.

Coffee is one of the most common drinks around the world yet due to its natural stimulant effect, caffeine has been controversial.

Caffeine can cause a short spike in blood pressure by affecting adenosine production, a compound that relaxes blood vessels.

However, antioxidants in coffee reduce this effect, helping the blood vessels to widen and improve blood flow.

Phenolic compounds in coffee have antioxidant activity that can provide anti-inflammatory benefits and improve insulin sensitivity.

Contrary to what many believe, a study has found that drinking coffee helps maintain low blood pressure.

Participants who consumed two or three cups of coffee every day had notably lower blood pressure than those who did not drink coffee.

The research team observed that moderate coffee consumption was associated with lower peripheral and central (aortic) systolic blood pressure (SBP).

Elevated central aortic pressure is a strong indicator of cardiovascular disease.

Professor Arrigo Cicero, the study’s first author, said:

“The results obtained show that those who regularly drink coffee have significantly lower blood pressure, both on peripheral and central levels, than those who do not drink it.

This is the first study to observe this association in the Italian population, and the data confirm the positive effect of coffee consumption on cardiovascular risk.”

Despite the side effects linked to its powerful stimulant effect, several studies show that people who drink coffee regularly, but in moderation, are less likely to develop diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and certain neurodegenerative conditions.

Professor Cicero said:

“Caffeine is only one of the several coffee components and certainly not the only one with an active role.

Positive effects on human health have indeed been recorded even among those who consume decaffeinated coffee.

We know that caffeine can increase blood pressure, but other bioactive components in coffee seem to counterbalance this effect with a positive end result on blood pressure levels.”

To find out the impact of coffee on blood pressure, the study compared central and peripheral BP values in 1,503 Italian adults.

Participants’ coffee drinking habits (the amount and how often) and blood pressure levels were recorded.

Professor Cicero said:

“The results are very clear: peripheral blood pressure was significantly lower in individuals consuming one to three cups of coffee a day than in non-coffee drinkers.

And for the first time, we were also able to confirm these effects with regard to the central aortic pressure, the one close to the heart, where we observe an almost identical phenomenon with entirely similar values for habitual coffee drinkers compared to non-coffee drinkers.”

Their data shows that coffee drinkers had lower values in central aortic pressure, peripheral circulation, SBP, and pulse pressure suggesting the beneficial health effects in lowering cardiovascular disease risk.

The study was published in the journal Nutrients (Cicero et al., 2023).

The Best Exercise To Lower Your Blood Pressure

The exercise that can reduce your blood pressure by 10 percent.

The exercise that can reduce your blood pressure by 10 percent.

The most effective type of exercise for lowering blood pressure is a combination of endurance exercise, like running, with lifting weights, research finds.

When it comes to lowering high blood pressure, exercise is as useful as drugs.

There is good evidence that systolic blood pressure — which is the highest number of any blood pressure reading — can be lowered by exercise.

The higher systolic blood pressure, the greater the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

We can easily lower high blood pressure by combining endurance training like running, swimming, cycling, jogging or even walking with strength training such as using kettlebells, doing push-ups and working out with dumbbells.

Researchers compared 194 medication trials with 197 exercise intervention trials to see the impact of drugs or exercise on lowering systolic blood pressure.

After analysing these trials, they found that exercise lowered blood pressure as much as most drugs.

They also noticed that people with higher blood pressure were benefiting more from exercise.

Replacing exercise with drugs is challenging, but blood pressure can decrease up to 10% by doing regular physical activities such as fast walking.

Start with doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity including gardening, dancing, walking briskly, mowing the lawn, playing tennis (doubles) throughout the week.

Symptoms of high blood pressure include a pounding in the chest, blood in the urine, and severe headaches.

More than 40% of adults in the US and many European countries are physically inactive.

About 30% of American adults suffer from high blood pressure.

Dr Huseyin Naci the lead author of the study, said:

“It’s one thing to recommend that physicians start prescribing exercise to their patients, but we also need to be cognisant of the resource implications and ensure that the patients that have been referred to exercise interventions can adhere to them and so really derive benefit.”

The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Naci et al., 2018).