Tart cherry juice reduces high blood pressure comparable to medication

Drinking tart Montmorency cherry juice was shown in a recent study to lower high blood pressure at a level comparable to that achieved by medication, according to researchers at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Men in the study who had high blood pressure had a 7% reduction in readings when drinking Montmorency cherry concentrate, compared to a fruit-flavored cordial. The level was comparable to what was achieved by antihypertensive medication, researchers reported.

The study participants started with blood pressure readings of at least 130/90 mmHg. They were given either 60 mL of a Montmorency cherry concentrate or the same amount of a the commercially available cordial.

Blood pressure and blood samples were taken before the cherry concentrate was consumed, and blood pressure was measured on an hourly basis afterwards. Those with the highest levels of blood pressure saw the most benefit.

Previous research showed a reduction of between 5 mmHG and 6 mmHg over a sustained period has been associated with a 38% reduced risk of stroke and 23% reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

Findings were published The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last week.

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