Chilies lower blood pressure?



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Using hot chillies to lower blood pressure?

(2010-08-04) Can high blood pressure be reduced with hot chilli? Chinese scientists have investigated this question. Zhiming Zhu from the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China, has investigated the influence of capsaicin, a hot substance in chillies, on blood vessels and published the results of his seven-month long-term study in the journal "Cell Metabolism".

In the article, Zhu describes the molecular process leading to lowering blood pressure and also presents the results of his seven-month long-term study, which empirically examines the relationship between chili consumption and blood pressure. It can be seen that capsaicin clearly contributed to lowering blood pressure in the experiments on laboratory rats with chronic high blood pressure. The capsaicin added to the feed results in increased nitric oxide emissions in the metabolism of the rats, which relaxes the walls of the blood vessels, widening them and lowering blood pressure. In subsequent studies, Zhu now has to investigate whether the results can easily be transferred to humans. However, he assumes an equally clear result. The different distribution of the population with high blood pressure in China already gives him a clue. In southwestern China, for example, where significantly more chilli is consumed than in the northeast, only 10-14 percent of the population suffer from excessive blood pressure compared to 20 percent in the northeast.

If the results are confirmed, people suffering from high blood pressure may be able to do without expensive antihypertensive drugs in the future and instead eat a good portion of chilli. If the conventional chillies are too hot for you, you can also switch to a milder version that does not contain capsaicin, but an active ingredient that the Zhu scientists believe has a similar blood pressure-lowering effect.

In Germany, almost 25% of the population currently suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension). B. can be caused by the impairments of the cardiovascular system, hormonal problems, metabolic diseases or kidney damage. Improper diet, lack of exercise and stress can also be the cause of high blood pressure. This is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, kidney failure or heart attacks. Therefore, hypertension should definitely be treated by a doctor and checked regularly. If the results of the Third Military Medical University study are confirmed in the following tests on humans, an increased consumption of chilli offers people with illnesses a good option to tackle excessive blood pressure beyond conventional orthodox medicine. (fp)

Also read:
Hypertension: good treatment options
Lower blood pressure with less sugar

Image: M. Großmann / pixelio.de

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