A study in the European Journal of Nutrition (volume 60, pages1277–1288 (2021)) looked at the effects of drinking orange juice on blood pressure and pulse pressure. The study looked specifically at hesperidin, the main polyphenol component of sweet oranges, and the test subjects were called mildly hypertensive.
- The study was a randomized, parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
- Subjects (159) were given orange juice (OJ) with a natural hesperidin content or hesperidin-enriched OJ (EOJ), or a control drink that contained no hesperidin.
- The trial continued for 12 weeks.
Hesperidin is a flavonoid, a type of compound that is found in many plants, including fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant activity. Citrus fruits are among the most popular dietary source of flavanones, which is a subtype of flavonoid.
- Hesperidin is found in all citrus fruits – and peppermint too.
- There is an overall association between the amount of citrus fruits you eat and a reduced risk of cerebrovascular disease and death because of cardiovascular disease.
- Hesperidin has shown many promising results from research tests into cardiovascular health and disease.
The Results: Lower Blood Pressure
The changes in blood pressure began from the first dose of EOJ.
- A single dose of EOJ reduced systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure
- The changes increased as the treatment continued
- Both OJ and EOJ decreased BP and PP relative to their hesperidin content
- OJ and EOJ also decreased homocysteine levels (a high level can contribute to arterial damage)
- After 12 weeks of EOJ, the function of four genes that are related to hypertension was altered
In their conclusion, the researchers noted that continued consumption would only enhance the effects they had noted. It represents a promising treatment for early stage high blood pressure patients.
Using natural therapeutic treatments like orange juice takes away any of the unwelcome side effects of using medications, especially over the long term.
From the report:
“Regular consumption of OJ, particularly hesperidin-rich OJ, could be a useful co-adjuvant tool for BP management in pre- and stage-1 hypertensive individuals. This fact has public health implications in preventive medicine for reducing the secondary effects of long-term medical treatment of mild hypertension.”