Flavonoid foods can be used as a diet to lower high blood pressure

People who supplement their diet with flavonoid foods and beverages, including tea, apples and berries, could result in lower blood pressure, according to a study using objective measures to feed thousands of UK residents. The results, published in Scientific Reports, looked at the diets of more than 25,000 people in Norfolk, UK. The researchers compared what the participants ate with their blood pressure.

Research beneficial flavonoids foods

Flavonoid foods like blueberries are rich in antioxidants and lower blood pressure

Unlike most other studies that looked at links between diet and health, the researchers did not rely on study participants to report on their diet. Instead, they objectively measured the uptake of flavonoid foods using dietary biomarkers. These are indicators of food intake, metabolism, or nutritional status that are present in the blood. The difference in blood pressure between those with the lowest 10% and those with the highest 10% of the intake was thus between 2 and 4 mmHg. This is similar to significant changes in blood pressure. These can be seen in people on a Mediterranean diet or nutritional approaches to end hypertension. Remarkably, such an effect was more pronounced in participants with high blood pressure.

doctor with blood pressure monitor examines patient in hospital

Professor Gunter Kuhnle, a nutritionist at the University of Reading, led the study. Previous studies with large populations always relied on self-reported data to draw conclusions. However, this is the first epidemiological study of this magnitude to objectively examine the relationship. The scientists are therefore pleased to see that there is also a significant and significant relationship between the consumption of flavonoids and lower blood pressure. The methodology of the study is equally important. This is one of the largest studies to ever use diet biomarkers to study bioactive compounds. The use of diet-related biomarkers to estimate the intake of bioactive food compounds has long been considered the gold standard for research.

Study results

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The development, validation and application of the biomarker was only possible thanks to the long-term commitment of all employees. In contrast to self-reported nutritional data, nutritional biomarkers can take into account the enormous variability in food composition. Therefore, the scientists can safely attribute the observed associations to the flavonoid-rich foods. This suggests that increasing the intake of flavan-3-ol by the general public could lower the overall incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Salmon fillets in a pan and flavonoids food for healthy eating

This study provides important insights into a growing number of documents. In addition, these demonstrate the benefits of flavonoids foods in health and nutrition. Even more exciting, however, was the ability to use objective biomarkers. This allowed the team to avoid the significant limitations associated with previous approaches.