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Polyphenol-Rich Juice May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Previous studies have shown that polyphenolic compounds from plants may have significant cardiovascular benefits. Now a new study has found that drinking a polyphenol-rich juice may lower blood pressure, especially in people with hypertension.

Participants in the study included 134 healthy people between the ages of 50 and 70 who were given a juice containing red grape, chokeberry, cherry, and bilberry, the same juice with additional blackberry juice, or a placebo for 12 weeks.

The researchers measured blood pressure at the onset, halfway point, and conclusion of the study. They found that systolic blood pressure was reduced by an average 6.9 mmHg in the polyphenol juice groups at the six-week point.  By the end of the study, that reduction had only increased by an additional 0.8 mmHg. They did not see any additional benefits from the added blackberry juice.

When the researchers looked more closely at the data, they found that the blood pressure lowering effects were notably more pronounced in people who had high blood pressure at the beginning of the study.

Researchers from the University of Oslo and the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries, and Aquatic Research conducted the study. It was published in the October 2015 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

Previous studies have linked polyphenol intake with a variety of health benefits, including helping with weight management and reducing inflammation. Polyphenols can be found naturally in many foods, including honey, a variety of fruits and vegetables, red wine, chocolate, tea, certain oils and many types of grain.

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