Researchers at the University of Reading in England found that a flavonal-rich diet can lead to low blood pressure. The effect was similar to that of diets recommended for lowering blood pressure, such as the Mediterranean or DASH diet. The results were recently presented in the renowned journal “Scientific Reports”.
Flavonoids are a group of natural substances. Most of them are plant dyes. Recent nutritional studies are revealing more and more health benefits of these natural substances. Now the first major study with over 25,000 participants has shown that a diet rich in flavonoids can lower blood pressure.
People who eat a diet rich in flavonoids have lower blood pressure on average than people who consume few flavonoids. This is the result of the largest study to date on the subject, which compared the diet of over 25,000 test persons from England.
Many fruits and vegetables contain such plant dyes. Above all apples, pears, berries, grapes, cherries, eggplants and plums are rich in flavonoids. Among the vegetables, onions, kale and soy products, for example, contain a particularly large amount of plant dyes. In addition, beverages such as green tea, black tea, cocoa, red wine and grape juice have a high content.
Flavonal-rich nutrition associated with lower blood pressure
The special thing about the study is that the researchers did not rely on the information provided by the participants, but determined the proportion of flavonoids in the blood on the basis of biomarkers. The results are therefore much more reliable than in most other nutrition studies based on questionnaires. “Previous studies on large populations have always relied on self-reported data to draw conclusions,” comments research director Professor Gunter Kuhnle. This is the first epidemiological study of this magnitude to objectively investigate such a relationship.
The analyses showed that blood pressure values differed by up to four mmHg on average between the ten percent of participants with the lowest flavonoid values and the ten percent with the highest flavonoid values. The more the blood pressure moved towards hypertension, the more pronounced the effect was. “We are pleased that our study found a meaningful and significant correlation between flavonoid consumption and blood pressure reduction,” Kuhnle summarized.
“The methodology of the study is of equal importance as the results,” the professor emphasizes. It is one of the largest studies ever conducted, the results of which are based on nutritional biomarkers. This could be regarded as a new gold standard in nutrition research. In contrast to empirical values, these results are unbiased.
Flavonal-rich diet against high blood pressure
“This study adds key findings to a growing body of evidence supporting the health benefits of flavonoids in the diet,” adds Hagen Schroeter from the research group. He added that the study also shows how biomarkers can be used in nutritional studies to obtain more objective results. (vb)
WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.