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Quercetin Lowers Blood Pressure in New Study

May 4th, 2009

Can a nutrient found in apples get those blood pressure numbers down?

Can a nutrient found in apples get those blood pressure numbers down?

Quercetin is already widely used a dietary supplement ingredient, although it’s rarely used just by itself. More commonly, quercetin is combined  with other complementary supplements or as part of a multi-ingredient formulas that target a specific health condition or factor. For example, one popular quercetin combination marketed by many supplement brands combines quercetin with the pineapple enzyme bromelain in a popular formula for allergy-like symptoms.  You’ll also see quercetin in  prostate formulas and products for vascular health, too. A new human quercetin study is bound to attract much more interest in quercetin since it shows beneficial effects on both blood pressure and harmful LDL cholesterol.  And these effects were demonstrated in people with metabolic syndrome, who are already at high risk for hypertension and cholesterol imbalances.  Better, yet, quercetin is inexpensive, natural, safe and very well-tolerated with none of the side-effects of either blood pressure or cholesterol drugs.

What is quercetin? Quercetin is classified as a flavonoid, and dietary flavonoids come from plant foods exclusively.  Flavonoids aren’t essential nutrients like vitamins or minerals, but they’re among the most important and beneficial nutrients in fruits and vegetables.

There are already multiple associations between flavonoid nutrients and cardiovascular health in general.  But in many respects, high blood pressure is harder problem to correct other cardiovascular health factors like cholesterol since it’s not purely a biochemical issue. Exercise, stress and genetics play as big a role, too, and none of those are easy to affect with either drugs or nutrients. So it’s particularly welcome news when a natural plant nutrient is found to positively affect blood pressure.  And given the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and the billions in costs associated with their treatment, there’s plenty of incentive for future studies that will relate further benefits with specific flavonoids.

This study used 93 overweight or obese subjects (with metabolic syndrome traits) aged 25-65 years. The subjects took either a placebo or a 150 mg quercetin supplement in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over trial. In other words,  neither the subjects nor their research contacts knew who was taking what during the trial.  After a 6-week treatment period, the subjects took a  5-week break known as a “washout period”, then switched groups for 6 weeks so that those who were getting the placebo were now getting the quercetin and vice-versa. The study found that even this modest and affordable dose of quercetin was able to significantly lower systolic blood pressure and reduce markers of unhealthy LDL cholesterol.

Foods rich in quercetin include apples, tomatoes, berries and onions. Quercetin supplements come in a range of potencies and are available with or without other nutrients.  Before using quercetin or any other dietary supplement to manage blood pressure, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.

Click on the image to see these and other quercetin products.

Click on the image to see these and other quercetin products.

One Response to “Quercetin Lowers Blood Pressure in New Study”

  1. May 11, 2009 at 9:09 pm, Bill said:

    Quercetin seems to have a very powerful anti inflammatory effect and is also an antioxidant. The anti inflammatory effects may be a factor in its benefits for high blood pressure.

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