Quantcast
Latest Stories

Raisins and soy may ward off high blood pressure



CHICAGO—Eating raisins and soy appears to help ward off high blood pressure, a key risk factor in heart disease, according to two studies presented at a major US cardiology conference on Sunday.

Munching on a handful of raisins three times a day helped people with slightly elevated blood pressure lower their numbers after several weeks, said one of the studies presented at the American College of Cardiology conference.

The randomized clinical trial — believed to be the first formal measurement of raisins’ benefits on blood pressure — involved 46 people with a condition known as pre-hypertension.

That means their blood pressure ranged from 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) to 139 millimeters of mercury over 89 mm Hg, or just higher than normal.

Compared to people who snacked on cookies or crackers, the raisin-eating group saw significant drops in blood pressure, in some cases lowering the top number, or systolic pressure, by 10.2, or seven percent over the 12-week study.

Researchers are not sure exactly why the raisins work so well, but they think it may have to do with the high level of potassium in the shriveled, dried grapes.

“Raisins are packed with potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure,” said lead investigator Harold Bays, medical director of Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center.

“They are also a good source of antioxidant dietary fiber that may favorably alter the biochemistry of blood vessels, causing them to be less stiff, which in turn, may reduce blood pressure.”

A handful of about 60 raisins contains a gram of fiber and 212 milligrams of potassium. Raisins are often recommended as part of a high-fiber, low-fat diet to reduce blood pressure.

A second study on soy showed that daily intake of foods like tofu, peanuts and green tea helped lower blood pressure in more than 5,100 white and African American people aged 18-30.

The study began in 1985 and was based on self-reported data about the food the participants ate.

Those who consumed about 2.5 or more milligrams of isoflavones, a key component in soy, per day had significantly lower systolic blood pressure — an average of 5.5 mmHg lower — than those who ate less than 0.33 mg per day.

That daily level should not be hard for most people to reach — a glass of soy milk contains about 22 mg of isoflavones, or nearly 10 times the amount needed to see an effect, according to the research.

“Our results strongly suggest a blood pressure benefit for moderate amounts of dietary isoflavone intake in young black and white adults,” said Safiya Richardson, a graduating medical student at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and the study’s lead investigator.

“Our study is the first to show a benefit in African Americans, who have a higher incidence of high blood pressure, with an earlier onset and more severe end-organ damage.”

Eating soy could be a way for people with slightly elevated blood pressure to avoid progressing to high blood pressure, and potentially ward off the need to take medications, she added.

“Any dietary or lifestyle modification people can easily make that doesn’t require a daily medication is exciting, especially considering recent figures estimating that only about one third of American hypertensives have their blood pressure under control.”

Soy and the isoflavones it contains work by boosting enzymes that create nitric oxide, which in turns helps to widen blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.

“Based on our results and those of previous studies, we would encourage the average adult to consider including moderate amounts of soy products in a healthy, well-balanced diet to reduce the chances of developing high blood pressure,” Richardson said.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: diseases , food , Health



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace