Green tea and black tea could help reduce high blood pressure


High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death for Americans.

High blood pressure is also very common. Tens of millions of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and many do not have it under control.

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, so the only way to know if you have it is to get your blood pressure measured.

In a recent study from the University of California Irvine, scientists found that compounds in both green and black tea relax blood vessels by activating ion channel proteins in the blood vessel wall.

The finding helps explain the antihypertensive properties of tea and could lead to the design of new blood pressure-lowering medications.

As many as one-third of the world’s adult population have high blood pressure, and this condition is considered to be the number one modifiable risk factor for global heart disease and premature mortality.

New approaches to treating hypertension have enormous potential to improve global public health.

The three commonly consumed caffeinated teas (green, oolong, and black) are all produced from the leaves of the evergreen species Camellia sinensis.

Black tea is commonly mixed with milk before it is consumed in countries including the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the study, researchers found that two catechin-type flavonoid compounds (epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin-3-gallate) found in tea, each activate a specific type of ion channel protein named KCNQ5.

As KCNQ5 is found in the smooth muscle that lines blood vessels, its activation by tea catechins was also predicted to relax blood vessels.

Prior studies demonstrated that drinking green or black tea can reduce blood pressure by a small but consistent amount, and catechins were previously found to contribute to this.

The researchers in the current study found that when black tea was directly applied to cells containing the KCNQ5 channel, the addition of milk prevented the beneficial KCNQ5-activating effects of tea.

The team also found, using mass spectrometry, that warming green tea to 35 degrees Celsius alters its chemical composition in a way that renders it more effective at activating KCNQ5.

They say regardless of whether the tea is consumed iced or hot, this temperature is achieved after the tea is drunk, as the human body temperature is about 37 degrees Celsius.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies that cherry concentrates can lower blood pressure as much as drugs, and marijuana may strongly increase the death risk in high blood pressure.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about how to treat slightly high blood pressure, and results showing this olive oil could reduce blood pressure in healthy people.

The study was published in Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry and conducted by Geoffrey Abbott et al.

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