Should people with high blood pressure start sipping pomegranate juice? That might not be a bad idea, according to a recent study.
Juice Lowers Elevated Blood Pressure:
A meta-analysis of eight placebo-controlled trials found that this tangy juice can help control hypertension. Daily consumption lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of about 5 points. That’s in the same ball park as many blood pressure medications. The dose of 240 cc per day or more (approximately one cup) lowered diastolic blood pressure (by approximately 2 points) as well.
How Does Pomegranate Juice Work?
The authors speculate that natural substances in pomegranate juice called flavonoids may improve vascular flexibility. These compounds, similar to those found in cocoa and tea, might reduce blood vessel constriction. In addition, pomegranate flavonoids inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), just as some popular blood pressure medications do. It is not clear, however, which mechanism is responsible for the blood pressure effects of this fruit juice.
The authors conclude that pomegranate juice could be an effective tool for lowering blood pressure when added to anti-hypertensive medications: “it may be prudent to include this fruit juice in a heart-healthy diet.”