vitamins, alternative medicine, antioxidants

Vitamin Stuff Blog

A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Study Finds Hibiscus Tea Lowers Blood Pressure

Written by Sandra Emmi

A recent study by Diane McKay, a nutrition scientist, showed that participants who drank three cups of hibiscus tea a day significantly lowered their blood pressure.

Participants in the study who drank the tea had blood pressure readings that were reduced by an average of 7.2%, compared to a reduction of only 1.3% in those who drank a placebo.

The results, which McKay revealed at the American Heart Association’s annual conference, indicate that those who are candidates for conditions associated with high blood pressure, such as heart disease, kidney disease or stroke, could benefit from drinking hibiscus tea. (High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and is the cause of 60% of all strokes.)

It is thought that antioxidants in the tea, which is made from the hibiscus sabdariffa flower, help to lower blood pressure by destroying harmful free radicals in the body. Many other studies have shown that antioxidants can help
protect against heart disease and cancer.

However, a spokesman for the Blood Pressure Association urged caution, noting that it was a small study, and that further research would be necessary before a firm link between drinking hibiscus tea and sustaining low blood pressure could be established.

Other Posts

Green tea comes from the same perennial evergreen shrub as black tea
Tea Tree Essential Oil: A Natural Antiseptic

Tea tree is native to Australia
The photochemical terpenes in tea tree oil kill many types of bacteria
Green Tea May Protect the Brain From Problems Stemming From Sleep Apnea

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veggies and fighting aging

The following article just backs up what we've always been told since we were kids. Eat your veggies. And for good reason. According to the USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, increased veggie consumption can help "ease the effects" of aging in a number of ways, ranging from reducing the risk of various diseases, lessening the severity of certain impairments, and even preserving our cognitive abilities as we age (memory, learning, etc).

As the article states, increased veggie intake can help ward off a number of illnesses that seem to currently run rampant through our society, including hypertension and diabetes, as well as some of the impairments that they, themselves, lead to such as stroke and heart attack.

Personally, none of this is surprising in the least. Veggies add fiber to a diet which helps reduce cholesterol. Veggies are also a great low carb alternative to processed carbohydrate food (type II diabetes) and can be packed with fantastic micronutrients.

The Veggie Factor

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Ginkgo for Aging and Longevity

Did you know that ginkgo biloba is a tree? Not only is it a tree but it is the oldest tree on earth, called the maidenhair tree. No wonder ginkgo is a great treatment for aging disorders and helps promote longevity. Ginkgo helps aging by fighting against free radical damage and helps prevent against blood clotting and the buildup of cholesterol.

Ginkgo protects against atherosclerosis, increases blood circulation and improves brain function. It is used to treat macular degeneration, glaucoma, stroke, heart disease and even cancer. Due to ginkgo’s ability to increase blood circulation it is gaining popularity as a great treatment for sexual dysfunction and is now being studied for sexual dysfunction treatment caused by antidepressants.

Ginkgo Biloba

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Isoflavone Supplementation for Stroke

A new study in Hong Kong, recently published online at the European Heart Journal, investigated the effects of isoflavone supplements on the main artery in the arm, the brachial artery.

The study involved 102 patients. Fifty-two of the patients were placed on placebos, and fifty patients were placed on 80 milligrams of isoflavone supplement per day. The study lasted for twelve weeks and is the first of its kind. There have been no other studies examining the effects of isoflavone and the brachial artery.

What is isoflavone? Isoflavone includes a class of organic compounds related to flavonoids. Isoflavone is found primarily in the mean family and is naturally-occurring in foods such as legumes, soy, clovers and chickpeas. Some foods with isoflavones are thought to protect against certain types of cancers.

Nearly 80 percent of the patients in the Hong Kong study had an impaired blood flow when they began the study. The researchers used ultrasound to measure the blood flow of the brachial arteries in all patients one minute after removing a tourniquet from their arms. What they found was that the patients who took the isoflavone supplements had an increased blood flow in the brachial artery. This is great news for ischaemic stroke studies, since ischemic stroke is caused by obstructions in the artery, such as blood clots.

The study lasted for twelve weeks and showed a significant improvement for the patients taking isoflavone supplements, as opposed to those taking placebos.

Though this new study has some researchers excited about the possibilities of using isoflavone supplements in addition to conventional medicine to help stroke patients, it is too early to make recommendations. The side effects of long term isoflavone supplemental use, as well as the long-term benefits, are yet unknown.

However, doctors can recommend that their patients eat a diet high in isoflavones in hopes that it will be helpful for their cardiovascular health. The foods containing isoflavones are also known for their vitamins, fiber and polyunsaturated fats, so there is no risk in recommending them.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Researches are Convinced that Juice Prevents Blockages in the Arteries

Recently, researchers conducted an experiment that involved hamsters that were given water and hamsters who received juice in an amount that was comparable to four glasses daily for an individual who weighed approximately one hundred and fifty pounds. While other hamsters were apples or grapes with human equivalents of three apples a day or three bunches of grapes per day. Researchers studied how the fruits affected the risk of atherosclerosis in hamsters. Atherosclerosis has become a major health concern for humans in recent years due to unhealthy diet and lifestyle changes. Consequently, the results grapes and apples may beneficial in preventing atherosclerosis among humans as well.

Hamsters who received either fruit or juice had lower cholesterol, less aortic fat build-up, and less oxidative stress. The results of this study seem to suggest that there is a direct correlation between the amount of phenol contained in fruit and its antioxidant benefits.

The study revealed that apples and grapes had about the same phenol content while purple grape juice had more than double the phenol content of apples or grapes.

In fact, purple grape juice had the strongest antioxidant effect, followed by purple grapes, apple juice, and apples.

Antioxidants have long been considered to good for your health, however these findings seem to indicate that phenols and other antioxidants contained in fruit such as vitamin C and carotenoids may greatly affect an individual’s risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Individuals wishing to use supplements or alternative medicine therapies should consult with their doctor beforehand.

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