A client of mine, while picking up his high blood pressure medication asked me if there are natural remedies to lower high blood pressure.
I knew of a few off the top of my head like coenzyme Q10, fish oil, garlic and turmeric. So that's what I told him.
However, he was interested particularly in drinking pomegranate juice to lower high blood pressure. Why, I asked him.
He loves juicing it and drinks a cup a day. I'm guessing he's looking for additional justification for doing what he already likes to do. After all, the last time I bought it, I paid around $2.00 for each one. At that price, it would certainly make me feel better if I knew that it had additional health benefits.
It is known that pomegranate is a potent antioxidant. But taking it for high blood pressure? I'm all for natural solutions, if they worked.
Hmm... I was intrigued at the thought of just drinking juice to lower high blood pressure. How easy can it get?
It got me wondering if it really worked. Here's what I found...
One of the best way to find out is to see if there are studies that reviews all existing studies on using pomegranate for high blood pressure.
Such studies that combine multiple scientific studies are called meta-analysis. In this meta-analysis, the researchers looked at eight high-quality randomized control clinical trials.
It showed that drinking 240 mL (about 1 cup) of pomegranate juice lowered systolic blood pressure by 5 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure by 2 mm Hg.
Moreover, these reduction in blood pressure is consistent and persist regardless of how long a person has been drinking it!
The conclusion from this meta-analysis is inescapable. Drinking a cup of pomegranate juice daily reduces blood pressure significantly. This was the same conclusion that the authors of this study came to as well.
There you have it. Pomegranate juice does seem to work in lowering blood pressure. And the scientific evidence shows it.
Here's the reference to this meta-analysis.
However great lowering blood pressure is, we also need to consider the other heart health benefits of drinking pomegranate juice as well. If there are any.
High blood pressure is only one risk factor when we evaluate our cardiovascular health. Other factors include cholesterol level.
The good news is that indeed there are and this give you more reasons for you to continue to drink pomegranate juice. A clinical research study lasting one year lead by Shema-Didi looked at 101 patients suffering kidney failure (they needed dialysis treatment).
They looked at the effect of drinking 100 mL (about half a cup) of pomegranate juice three times a week (not daily!) on their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
What the researchers discovered was that pomegranate juice lowered blood pressure, lowered triglycerides and increased HDL (high-density lipoprotein, often referred to as the "good" cholesterol). Little doubt about this. It seems reasonably clear.
You might ask why choose patients on hemodialysis as opposed to those suffering from heart disease? There are several reasons.
One, they have to show up for hemodialysis treatment several times a week for years so it was easy to follow up with them, like getting blood samples. Second, these group of individuals have the highest risk of heart disease compared to the general population. That means that any benefits from drinking pomegranate juice, however small, should be more pronounced and easier to detect.
Moreover, the design study was randomized and placebo controlled (so that the person receiving the juice can't tell if he or she is drinking the pomegranate juice or a matching juice) to reduce the risk of psychological influence. (Often, believing that pomegranate juice lowers blood pressure might cause this effect to actually occur; the power of thought.) This add to the validity of the results as it removed the placebo effect.
There you have it. Drinking pomegranate juice provides significant heart health benefits beyond just lowering high blood pressure. And this study only lasted one year. Imagine the potential health benefits if you drank it for decades.
Here's the reference to this published study:
Needless to say, not all study will yield positive results. This is not a surprise in the research world. We all should expect this.
One study conducted over six months showed that its blood pressure lower effect amounted to very little change once you adjusts for the starting baseline blood pressure readings.
Moreover, drinking 1,000 mg of purified pomegranate extract daily did not improved measurements in inflammation, oxidative stress, muscle strength or other markers used to identify heart health.
Keep in mind that this study involved about thirty-three individuals and that's a small number. Research studies involving fewer subjects often provide results that are more likely to vary significantly making us less confident of its benefits.
Here's the published paper:
Should I consider drinking pomegranate juice to treat my high blood pressure?
Yes. That's what most of the independent studies seem to show.
Go for it. That is, if you enjoy drinking the juice. There's no point in suffering through drinking pomegranate juice daily if you don't like it. Sure, it is possible that you can force yourself to drink it and then you might get "used to it".
But there's no need to suffer like that!
There are many other natural remedies you can consider for lowering your blood pressure. Indeed, if you took several other natural remedies that could lower your blood pressure, their combined benefits might just be enough to bring your blood pressure down to an acceptable level.
If, on the other hand, you like drinking pomegranate juice, all the power to you. You'll get to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.
If you are curious, there are indeed many other well known natural remedies that also work to lower blood pressure.
You owe it to yourself to check them out. You might even discover that one of the natural remedy that you are taking right now is actually helping to lower your high blood pressure. What a nice surprise to discover this...
Created: September 7, 2017