A new study claims consuming unsalted tomato juice can significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases. Researchers say this juice can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels particularly in people who are at risk of the deadly health condition.
Ateam from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University conducted the study, which included 481 Japanese participants. For one year, all the participants were provided with as much unsalted tomato juice as they liked. Each participant kept a record of how much they consumed daily and made notes on health changes.
The results showed that in almost 94 participants with untreated pre-hypertension or hypertension,there was a drop in blood pressure by almost 3 per cent. The team also found a3.3 per cent average fall in cholesterol in 125 of the participants who had high levels of it. Extremely high cholesterol levels can block blood vessels and increase the risk of fo strokes and heart attacks. The health benefits of this juice were seen in men and women of all ages.
Despite the findings, some experts say further research is needed to fully understand the juice's benefits."The Japanese population is likely to be different to that of the UK, so we shouldn't generalise,"Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) told a news portal. Adding, "The study also fails to look at what else participants were eating or whether they had consumed tomatoes in other forms and it does not take lifestyle factors into account which could have affected their blood pressure and cholesterol levels."
Taylor also warns the public against drinking fruit or vegetable juices that are 150ml daily as they contain a lot of sugar. However, she does recommend consuming fresh fruit and vegetables in order to keep your heart healthy. The study's findings were originally published in the journal Food Science and Nutrition.
Previous research has found exercising regularly can be extremely beneficial for people with high blood pressure. "Exercise seems to achieve similar reductions in systolic blood pressure as commonly used antihypertensive drugs among people with high blood pressure,” Huseyin Naci, a health policy researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK, told a news portal.
Patients with blood pressure may not require medication if they exercise regularly. "Hopefully, if the exercise brought blood pressure down sufficiently they could be weaned off some of their medications," Naci told a news portal.