Tomato Juice To Lower Blood Pressure
Japanese researchers report that 481 adults at risk of heart disease lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol by adding unsalted tomato juice to their daily diets for a year. The participants were provided with as much tomato juice as they wanted and drank an average of a little less than a cup of day, according to the study findings. As appealing as this dietary strategy may appear, the study itself has been criticized by the British National Health Service, which noted that the researchers provided free tomato juice to the participants and checked their blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and fasting plasma glucose before and after the year-long study. It is unknown if any of the participants received treatment for high blood pressure or high cholesterol or changed their diets in any other way during the year. For those reasons, it is unclear that drinking tomato juice was responsible for the improvements seen. What’s more, less than half the participants completed a lifestyle questionnaire the researchers provided. No information was collected on whether or not the participants made changes in their exercise habits during the year, which could play a role in the improvements observed.
Naoyuki Miyasaka et al, “Unsalted tomato juice intake improves blood pressure and serum low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol level in local Japanese residents at risk of cardiovascular disease.” Food Science & Nutrition, May 15, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.1066
More from this week’s bulletin: