Coconut sugar may lower blood pressure, artery stiffness in older people

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In a study from Ball State University and elsewhere, scientists found a natural coconut sugar may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving blood vessel health and managing high blood pressure.

Higher blood pressure and arterial stiffness with older age are two risk factors contributing to heart disease.

In a new study, researchers explored the effect of a natural sweetener on blood pressure and arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older adults.

Coconut sap powder, which is a natural sweetener derived from coconut sugar traditionally used in Asian cuisine, is rich in vitamins B and C, as well as iron, calcium and potassium.

Coconut sap powder also contains flavonoids and nitrates—compounds known to contribute to blood vessel health—and inulin, a prebiotic soluble fiber that helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Previous research suggests coconut sap powder increases antioxidant biomarkers in young adults.

In the current study, the team tested a group of volunteers with an average age of 55.

The people took either a coconut sap powder supplement or a placebo every day for eight weeks.

Before and after the trial, the research team measured the volunteers’ resting heart rates, cholesterol levels, markers of inflammation, blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

The team found the group of volunteers who took the coconut sap powder supplement had lower systolic blood pressure when measured in the arm, but not when measured in the carotid artery.

However, the stiffness of the common carotid artery was reduced. However, blood markers of inflammation and oxidative stress did not change with the consumption of coconut sap powder.

The team says the coconut sap powder-lowering effects on blood pressure and arterial stiffness provide insight for coconut sap powder as a novel nutraceutical to potentially treat age-related heart dysfunction and disease.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about a major cause of high blood pressure, and vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies that black tea may strongly reduce blood pressure, and results showing these high blood pressure drugs may increase heart failure risk.

The study was conducted by Bradley S. Fleenor et al and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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