High blood pressure may have a partly psychological cause.
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High blood pressure may have a partly psychological cause.
Eating a handful of this fruit per day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A daily intake of one cup of blueberries will reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which decreases heart disease risk.
The effect of lowering blood pressure and arterial stiffness may be due to a rise in nitric oxide production in the blood vessels.
Blueberries are a rich source of flavonoids such as anthocyanin, a natural compound that acts as an antioxidant.
Flavonoids have an anti-inflammatory effect as well as increasing the production of nitric oxide in the body.
Nitric oxide can make the inner muscles of the blood vessels relax and so they widen and circulation improves.
By increasing blood flow through the body, blood pressure will consequently go down.
In the study, a group of subjects were fed an equivalent of one cup of blueberries per day for 8 weeks to see if they had any effect on lowering blood pressure.
There were no other changes in these participants’ normal diet and routines.
After 8 weeks, there was a reduction of 7 mm/Hg in their systolic blood pressure and 5 mm/Hg reduction in their diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure is the top number of the blood pressure reading, which is the pressure when the heart beats.
Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number, which is the pressure when the heart rests between beats.
In addition, arterial stiffness was reduced by 6.5 percent in participants who were in the blueberry-treated group.
The study shows that the nitric oxide level in these people was increased by 68.5 percent, which explains the declines in blood pressure.
Dr Sarah A. Johnson, the study’s first author, said:
“Our findings suggest that regular consumption of blueberries could potentially delay the progression of prehypertension to hypertension, therefore reducing cardiovascular disease risk.”
“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Our findings suggest that the addition of a single food, blueberries, to the diet may mitigate the negative cardiovascular effects that often occur as a result of menopause.”
The study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Johnson et al., 2015).
The juice reduced blood pressure just three hours after consuming it.
Montmorency cherry juice can lower blood pressure by a similar amount to medication, research finds.
The study examined the effects of Montmorency tart cherry juice on vascular function in hypertensive men.
These participants consumed 60 ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice diluted with 100ml of water.
The subjects’ blood pressure was reduced by 7 mmHg just three hours after drinking the juice.
High blood pressure is a serious health concern as if it is not treated can lead to coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.
Currently, about 1 out of every 3 American adults and more than 1 in 4 adults in England suffer from hypertension.
A normal blood pressure for an adult is considered to be 120 mmHg (systolic) over 80 mmHg (diastolic).
Several studies have shown a 5 mmHg to 6 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure can lower the risk of heart disease by 23 percent and stroke by 38 percent.
Systolic blood pressure is the top number of the blood pressure readings and diastolic blood pressure is the second number.
Systolic blood pressure is the more important of these two as it is an indicator of cardiovascular disease.
Montmorency tart cherry is a type of sour cherry which is rich in phenolic acids (a type of polyphenol).
The phenolic acids show high levels of antioxidant activity and are beneficial to vascular function.
Protocatechuic and vanillic acid belong to the phenolic acids family and are the reason for the reduction in blood pressure.
Dr Karen Keane, the study’s first author, said:
“The majority of cardiovascular disease is caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity and diabetes.
Raised blood pressure is the leading cause of deaths from cardiovascular disease, yet relatively small reductions in blood pressure can have a large impact on mortality rates.
The magnitude of the blood pressure lowering effects we observed was comparable to those achieved by a single anti-hypertensive drug and highlights the potential importance that Montmorency cherries could have in the effective management of high blood pressure.”
Blueberry, cranberry, and blackcurrant are also high in these phenolic acids and so they can benefit the blood vessels, improve blood flow and help reduce vascular disease.
Professor Glyn Howatson, study co-author, said:
“We believe these benefits might be linked to the combined actions of some of the plant compounds within the Montmorency concentrate and the positive impact they exert on vascular function.”
The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Keane et al., 2016).
These two techniques lead to the most dramatic fall in blood pressure and weight loss.
A little exercise plus following the DASH diet leads to a remarkable reduction in blood pressure and weight loss, a study has found.
Lifestyle change is a powerful way to reduce the need for antihypertensive drugs in overweight or obese people.
The study involved a group of overweight and obese adults who had high blood pressure.
They were put on a 16-week program consisting of the DASH diet plus weight management and exercise.
The subjects’ blood pressure was between 130/80 mmHg to 160/99 mmHg but none were on any hypertension treatment.
They focused on the DASH diet with the help of the study nutritionist, attended exercise sessions 3 times a week and a cognitive behavioral weight loss treatment session each week.
‘DASH’ stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), a diet designed to fight high blood pressure.
The DASH diet involves eating lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains and also includes fish, poultry, nonfat or low fat dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes, and vegetable oils.
In the exercise sessions participants warmed up for 10 minutes, then they were engaged in 30 minutes high-intensity aerobic activities like biking or jogging, followed by a 5 minute cool-down workout.
After 16 weeks of following the plan, participants lost 8.7 kg (19 pounds), and saw a 16 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 10 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure.
Those who were only on the DASH diet plan saw a reduction of 11 mmHg in systolic and 8 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure but only lost 0.3 kg of weight.
Dr Alan Hinderliter, the study’s first author, said:
“Lifestyle modifications, including healthier eating and regular exercise, can greatly decrease the number of patients who need blood pressure-lowering medicine.
That’s particularly the case in folks who have blood pressures in the range of 130 to 160 mmHg systolic and between 80 and 99 mmHg diastolic.”
The purpose of this study was to find out whether the DASH diet alone or combined with aerobic exercises could lower cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure.
These results confirmed that a lifestyle modification that includes a healthy diet combined with physical fitness and cognitive behavioural weight management plan would result in an impressive amount of weight loss and a decrease in blood pressure.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Joint Hypertension 2018 Scientific Sessions.
Adding even a small amount of this food to your diet can make a big difference to your blood pressure.
People with elevated high blood pressure might see a big improvement by having yoghurt every day for breakfast or even as a snack.
A research team tested if yoghurt consumption has any effect on blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.
They found that yoghurt reduced blood pressure by seven points in people with hypertension.
Over one billion people have high blood pressure that puts them at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) including heart disease are the leading cause of death globally.
The death rate is different between countries, for instance, every 36 seconds someone dies from CVD in the United States while it is every 12 minutes in Australia.
Scientist are examining every possible way to help reduce CVD risk and one important area is diet, which covers types of foods and drinks and calorie intake.
Dr Alexandra Wade, the study’s first author, said:
“High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, so it’s important that we continue to find ways to reduce and regulate it.
Dairy foods, especially yoghurt, may be capable of reducing blood pressure.
This is because dairy foods contain a range of micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which are involved in the regulation of blood pressure.
Yoghurt is especially interesting because it also contains bacteria that promote the release of proteins which lowers blood pressure.
This study showed for people with elevated blood pressure, even small amounts of yoghurt were associated with lower blood pressure.
And for those who consumed yoghurt regularly, the results were even stronger, with blood pressure readings nearly seven points lower than those who did not consume yoghurt.”
In this study a normal blood pressure was defined as 120/80 mmHg while elevated blood pressure was 140/90 mmHg or over.
Previous studies showed that people who ate yoghurt each day doubled their body fat loss.
People with higher belly fat are more likely to develop heart disease.
The study was published in International Dairy Journal (Wade et al., 2021).
A routine to battle high blood pressure caused by pollution.
People who live in polluted cities are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease (CVD) including arrhythmia, heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.
Air pollution increases the incidence of high blood pressure, one of the most important risk factors for CVD.
A study has found that individuals who live in areas with high levels of air pollution, but who exercise routinely, have normal blood pressure, suggesting physical activity even in polluted cities can prevent or reverse hypertension.
Habitual physical activity is simply the healthiest approach for lowering or even preventing high blood pressure.
At present over 91 percent of people live in places where World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines are not met.
Air pollution is the biggest environmental risk to public health but physical activity can reduce the harm across different populations globally.
Dr iang Qian Lao, the study’s co-author, said:
“While we found that high physical activity combined with lower air pollution exposure was linked to lower risk of high blood pressure, physical activity continued to have a protective effect even when people were exposed to high pollution levels.
The message is that physical activity, even in polluted air, is an important high blood pressure prevention strategy.”
The team tracked 140,000 Taiwanese adults with healthy blood pressure for five years.
Participants, based on their physical activity levels, were divided into highly active, moderately active, and inactive.
Also, the level of exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a widely used indicator for air pollution, was categorised into high, moderate, and low in this study.
A reading of 140/90 mm Hg was considered high blood pressure whereas the American Heart Association guidelines on hypertension defines high blood pressure as 130/80 mm Hg.
This implies 50 percent of American adults have hypertension and are at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
The findings were as follows:
Dr Lao said:
“This is the largest study to analyze the combined effects of air pollution and regular physical activity on high blood pressure.
Our findings indicate that regular physical activity is a safe approach for people living in relatively polluted regions to prevent high blood pressure.
Exercise should be promoted even in polluted areas.
The findings also put a spotlight on how strongly pollution can impact blood pressure, and how important it is to control pollution levels to prevent high blood pressure.”
The study was published in the journal Circulation (Guo et al., 2020).
Higher intake of these minerals has been shown to reduce blood pressure in the long run.
People who took higher amounts of magnesium, potassium and calcium displayed lower blood pressure, a study has found.
Also, participants who consumed a daily intake of 3.2 grams of potassium combined with 3.7 grams of sodium were shown to have the lowest blood pressure.
Magnesium is an important mineral for the body since it helps calcium in bone formation, improves blood sugar level, helps nerves and muscles function, lowers blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Our body requires a relatively large amounts of magnesium.
Healthy men should take 400 to 420 mg of magnesium per day and women should take 310 to 320 mg daily (source: the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements).
Good sources of magnesium include legumes, avocados, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, and green leafy vegetables.
Calcium is another important mineral as it is responsible for strong bones and teeth, heart health, and helps blood to clot.
The recommended amounts of this nutrient for a healthy adult is about 1,000 mg per day.
Dairy such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are the main source and lentils, dried fruit, kale, broccoli, whole grains, sardines, and salmon are also sources of calcium.
Potassium is the other vital nutrient that plays a role in lowering blood pressure and improving heart, muscle, and kidney function.
Potassium and sodium are electrolytes and together are needed in maintaining fluid balance, nerve impulses and muscle contractions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a potassium consumption of at least 3,510 mg a day for adults in order to reduce the risk of CVD and stroke.
Fruits such as bananas, grapefruits, dried apricots, and prunes, vegetables like tomatoes, squash, broccoli, potatoes, and spinach are rich in potassium.
Dr Lynn L. Moore, the study’s first author, said:
“This study and others point to the importance of higher potassium intakes, in particular, on blood pressure and probably cardiovascular outcomes as well.
I hope that this research will help refocus the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans on the importance of increasing intakes of foods rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium for the purpose of maintaining a healthy blood pressure.”
The research followed 2,632 people for 16 years to see if low sodium intake in the diet can reduce blood pressure levels.
However, they found that eating less sodium won’t necessary lower hypertension, adding more evidence to other studies that sodium limits recommended by dietary guidelines may be incorrect.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a medical condition and an important risk factor for CVD.
The current US dietary guideline for healthy adults is less than 2.3 grams per day of sodium intake and the UK guideline for adults is less than 2.4 grams per day.
But, after the 16 years of follow-up, the study found that participants whose sodium intake was less than 2.5 grams a day had higher blood pressure than those with higher sodium diets.
Past studies found that people with either very high sodium diets or low sodium diets were at higher risk of CVD.
In contrast, people who had a middle intake of sodium in their daily foods exhibited the lowest risk of heart disease.
Dr Moore, said:
“We saw no evidence that a diet lower in sodium had any long-term beneficial effects on blood pressure.
Our findings add to growing evidence that current recommendations for sodium intake may be misguided.”
The study was published The FASEB Journal (Moore et al., 2017).
A review of 13 studies reveals what physical activity is effective in bringing down blood pressure.
Exercising at least four hours a week reduces the risk of high blood pressure by 19 percent compared to those who exercise less than 60 minutes weekly, research finds.
Activities outside work, like walking or cycling to work, jogging, swimming, and in general playing any sport, or doing any sort of exercise can be helpful.
Leisure time activities help lower blood pressure, enhance insulin sensitivity, help weight loss, reduce anxiety and depression symptoms and more.
Researchers checked the effect of physical activity on blood pressure by reviewing studies involving 136,846 people in Europe, East Asia, and USA.
One to three hours weekly exercise during leisure time lowered the risk of high blood pressure by 11 percent, compared to those who exercised less than 60 minutes weekly.
In short, increasing physical activities will bring the blood pressure to its healthy level.
The most common risk factor for heart-related disease, stroke, and kidney disease is high blood pressure, which can lead to many disabilities.
Researchers predict that 1.56 billion adults will suffer from high blood pressure by 2025.
At the moment, 1 in 3 US adults aged 20 and over have high blood pressure — tabout 80 million people.
High blood pressure is defined as a reading of 140/90 mmHg (millimetres of mercury).
The issue is that high blood pressure in many people can remain untreated since it shows no symptoms.
Dr Wei Ma, study co-author, said:
“Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular and kidney disease — thus, it is important to prevent and control hypertension. To try to lower your risk of high blood pressure, you should exercise more in your leisure time.
Recreational exercise may affect several factors tied to high blood pressure — helping people keep off extra pounds, improving poor insulin sensitivity or reducing the blood vessels’ resistance to blood flow.”
The study was published in the journal of Hypertension (Huai et al., 2013).
This popular beverage causes high blood pressure and cardiovascular risks.
Having more than one alcoholic drink a day increases the risk of hypertension by nearly 80 percent, a study reveals.
Moderate drinking — which is defined as 8 to 14 alcoholic drinks weekly — results in severe high blood pressure.
Researchers looked into the connection between the amount of drinking and blood pressure among more than 10,000 people with type 2 diabetes in the USA and Canada.
Subjects were divided into different groups based on alcohol consumption levels:
The unit for one alcoholic drink was 1.5 oz (45 ml) of hard liquor, 5 oz (148 ml) glass of wine, or 12 oz (355 ml) of beer.
A normal blood pressure in the study was classified as below 120/80 mm Hg, elevated was higher than 120/80 mm Hg, stage 1 hypertension ranging from 130 to 139 mm Hg/80 to 89 mm Hg, and stage 2 hypertension as 140 mm Hg/90 mm Hg or higher.
Dr Matthew Singleton, the senior study author, said:
“This is the first large study to specifically investigate the association of alcohol intake and hypertension among adults with Type 2 diabetes.
Previous studies have suggested that heavy alcohol consumption was associated with high blood pressure, however, the association of moderate alcohol consumption with high blood pressure was unclear.”
Here is a summary of their findings:
Dr Singleton said:
“Though light to moderate alcohol consumption may have positive effects on cardiovascular health in the general adult population, both moderate and heavy alcohol consumption appear to be independently associated with higher odds of high blood pressure among those with Type 2 diabetes.
Lifestyle modification, including tempering alcohol consumption, may be considered in patients with Type 2 diabetes, particularly if they are having trouble controlling their blood pressure.
People with Type 2 diabetes are at higher cardiovascular risk, and our findings indicate that alcohol consumption is associated with hypertension, so limited drinking is recommended.”
The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (Mayl et al., 2020).
Symptoms of high blood pressure include a pounding in the chest, blood in the urine, and severe headaches.
Exercise is highly effective in lowering blood pressure but scientists say there is one condition.
Antibacterial mouthwash will ruin the effect of exercise on lowering blood pressure by killing oral bacteria, a study has found.
Rinsing the mouth with antibacterial mouthwash rather than water destroys oral bacteria that are vital for cardiovascular health.
Exercise increases the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes the muscles of the blood vessels and so this enhances blood flow circulation in the body.
A compound called nitrate is produced by the salivary glands, then converted into nitrite by bacteria in the mouth.
This molecule is the main source of nitric oxide, therefore if oral bacteria are destroyed, there won’t be any production of these molecules.
As a result, exercise will be ineffective in lowering blood since the blood vessels remain narrow.
Dr Raul Bescos, the study’s lead author, said:
“It’s all to do with nitric oxide degrading into a compound called nitrate.
Nitrate can be absorbed in the salivary glands and excreted with saliva in the mouth.
Some species of bacteria in the mouth can use nitrate and convert into nitrite — a very important molecule that can enhance the production of nitric oxide in the body.
And when nitrite in saliva is swallowed, part of this molecule is rapidly absorbed into the circulation and reduced back to nitric oxide.
This helps to maintain a widening of blood vessels which leads to a sustained lowering of blood pressure after exercise.”
In this study, a group of healthy adults were told to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes on two separate occasion.
After exercise, they were asked to rinse their mouth with antibacterial mouthwash or a placebo (mint-flavoured water) without knowing which one was real.
Their results showed that after rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash, the effect of exercise on lowering blood pressure was shrunk by 60 percent within 1 hour after exercise.
The blood pressure lowering effect was completely destroyed after only two hours of exercise.
The blood nitrite levels in participants didn’t increase after exercise once they used antibacterial mouthwash.
But, when participants used the placebo, their nitrite levels were increased, suggesting the importance of oral bacteria.
Mr Craig Cutler, the study’s first author, said:
“These findings show that nitrite synthesis by oral bacteria is hugely important in kick-starting how our bodies react to exercise over the first period of recovery, promoting lower blood pressure and greater muscle oxygenation.
In effect, it’s like oral bacteria are the ‘key’ to opening up the blood vessels.
If they are removed, nitrite can’t be produced and the vessels remain in their current state.”
The study was published in the journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine (Cutler et al., 2019).