This Japanese food may lower blood pressure in men over 40

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Scientists from Osaka Metropolitan University found that eating sunomono—a Japanese vinegared side dish—correlates to lower blood pressure categorization in men over 40.

The research was conducted by Professor Hiroaki Kanouchi et al.

Previous studies have shown that people drinking 30 mL of vinegar daily had lower blood pressure but also lost weight which could account for the lower blood pressure.

Sunomono provided an opportunity to examine if vinegar consumption as part of a normal diet correlated to differences in blood pressure.

Sunomono is a traditional side dish made with sliced cucumber or seaweed in rice vinegar, often with seafood garnish.

It is a normal food, regularly eaten by older generations in Japan, with individually prepackaged portions available for purchase in supermarkets, making it a common source of larger volumes of dietary vinegar.

In the study, the team tested 1,498 men and women over 40 years old who were screened for hypertension or other disqualifying health conditions.

746 participants had their blood pressure tested and categorized based on the Japanese Society of Hypertension guidelines, then filled out a dietary surveyed, paying attention to sour vinegary food consumption, particularly sunomono.

While analyzing the health information and dietary survey, the researchers noticed an interesting trend.

Men who did not habitually eat sunomono had much higher blood pressure, even though their weight and BMI were the same.

The team believes the food could be promoting growth of good gut microbiota.

Eating sunomono—at least monthly—correlated with lower average blood pressure among men, even when adjusted for age, BMI, smoking history, and intake of sodium, potassium, and alcohol, amongst other factors.

This indicates that eating sunomono could already be having a positive impact on health.

The team says they want everyone to know that even occasionally eating sunomono could make a difference in blood pressure.

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