Popular drink 'lowers blood pressure and slashes risk of heart attack and stroke' | The Sun

JUST one glass of fruit juice a day could help lower deadly high blood pressure, a study has found.

The condition causes few symptoms so can go undetected for years, but over time it can put sufferers at risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure.

With poor diet, lifestyle and stress thought to up people's chances of developing high blood pressure, doctors will often prescribe lifestyle changes such as cutting salt and alcohol intake, eating more fruit and veg and getting more exercise.

Now new research conducted at the University of Toronto found that drinking moderate amounts of fruit juice daily may help bring down blood pressure.

It comes as Blood Pressure UK warned that up to two thirds of Brits under 50 could be living with undiagnosed hypertension, as the condition is also called.

Poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles have lead growing numbers of to develop the condition when they're as young as 30, so the charity urged adults of all ages to get their blood pressure checked regularly.

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The Toronto research team analysed data from 93 previous studies that looked at 12 different sugary foods, to help understand how dietary choices impact blood pressure.

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers: systolic pressure – the force at which your heart contracts when it pumps blood around your body – and diastolic pressure, the pressure during the resting phase between heartbeats.

According to NHS guidance, ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, while the target for people over the age of 80 years old is below 150/90mmHg.

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The report, published in the PLOS ONE journal, found that moderate consumption of fruit juice containing natural sugars led to average “small important reductions” of 3.7mmHg in systolic blood pressure.

In contrast, having drinks with added sugar – such as fizzy pop – resulted in an average increase in systolic blood pressure of 6.9mmHg.

Researchers found that only a small glass of fruit juice was enough for benefits to be seen long term – between 50 and 150ml taken daily.

They estimated protective effect of pure fruit juice on blood pressure is likely due to nutrients and bio-compounds which are found in fruit.

But eating whole fruit, which also contains fibre, had an even bigger benefit, according to the study.

The findings show that public health guidelines aimed at helping people prevent and manage high blood pressure should differentiate between natural and added sugars, the report said.

Lead author Professor John Sievenpiper, said: “Our research indicates benefit on blood pressure from moderate intakes of 100 per cent fruit juice which contains only natural sugars.

“The available evidence provides a good indication that fruit and 100% fruit juice at low doses leads to small important reductions in blood pressure.”

Health chiefs recently recently greenlit a huge expansion to the NHS's free blood pressure check scheme, announcing that local community spots such as barbershops, supermarkets and mosques could offer the lifesaving tests on top of pharmacies and GPs.

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