Cherries may work as well as drugs for BP

In a small study, researchers found a 7 percent reduction in blood pressure among subjects who drank Montmorency cherry juice concentrate.

Can sipping a simple drink of cherry juice decrease blood pressure as well as taking anti-hypertension meds? Apparently so, according to a small new study.

Researchers at Northumbria University in the U.K. found a seven percent reduction in blood pressure among men with early signs of hypertension after drinking Montmorency cherry concentrate when compared to drinking a fruit-flavored cordial. The results were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and noted on sciencedaily.com.

"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," lead author and lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Northumbria, Karen Keane, said in a university release.

According to the release about the research, past studies have shown that a small decrease in blood pressure can make a big difference. A reduction of between 5-6 mmHg over a sustained period has been associated with a 38-percent reduced risk of stroke and 23 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

"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,” said Keane. “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.”

Previous research found that the melatonin-packed tart cherries may also hold the secret to snoozing for millions of Americans suffering from insomnia.

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