Elevated blood pressure results in micro-cracks in the delicate endothelial lining of the blood vessels that must be patched by plaque (formed largely of circulating oxidized LDL cholesterol and calcium particles), beginning the process of atherosclerosis and greatly increased risk of heart attack.
Researchers from Florida State University have published a study in the American Journal of Hypertension that explains how watermelon helps reduce moderately elevated blood pressure by providing a rich source of the amino acids, citrulline and arginine, both known to relax vascular pressure.
In prior studies, citrulline and arginine have been shown as effective agents to reduce blood pressure, but further research was necessary to validate the results. The scientists recruited fourteen volunteers with an average age of 58 to receive either a concentrated watermelon extract (providing six grams of a citrulline/arginine mixture daily) or a placebo for a period of six weeks. They then observed a two week washout period with no supplementation before crossing over to the other group.
At the end of the study, researchers found that systolic pressure (upper blood pressure number) in the supplemented group was lowered in the arm and ankle by 15.1 and 11.5mmHg respectively, compared to the placebo participants. Diastolic pressure was lowered by 7.6 and 7.8 mmHg. For many participants, this reduction was enough to lower blood pressure from a pre-hypertension state to a normal reading, significantly lowering the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Improve your health! Get Ann Wigmore’s RECIPES FOR LONGER LIFE.