Significant effects on blood pressure (BP) have been reported from large nutritional interventions, particularly the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean diet.
In more recent years, numerous studies have investigated the possible BP-lowering effect of different nutraceuticals; these range from specific foods to minerals, lipids, whole proteins, peptides, amino acids, probiotics, and vitamins.
While a very large body of evidence supports the use of potassium, L-arginine, vitamins C and D, cocoa flavonoids, beetroot juice, some probiotics, coenzyme Q10, controlled-release melatonin, aged garlic extract, and coffee, the use of other nutraceuticals, such as green tea, flaxseed, and resveratrol, has not as yet been supported by adequate evidence.
In some cases, e.g. proteins/peptides, the responsible component needs also to be fully uncovered.
Finally, while for most of the products only short-term studies are available, with no specific end-points, an ongoing very large prospective study on chocolate flavanols will answer the question whether this may reduce cardiovascular risk.
Thus, in addition to data on long-term safety, further clinical research is advisable in order to identify, among active nutraceuticals, those with the best cost-effectiveness and risk–benefit ratio for a wide use in the general population with a raised cardiovascular risk consequent to uncomplicated hypertension.
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Nutraceuticals for blood pressure control
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