A study conducted by researchers at the University of Bonn suggests that a natural extract from red onion skin, called quercetin, may be beneficial in reducing high blood pressure in overweight and obese people.
Quercetin is a flavonol, a type of polyphenol that is commonly found in fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, and other plant-based foods.
Foods such as capers, red onions, and kale are particularly rich in this compound.
Previous research has already shown that quercetin has anti-hypertensive properties, which means it can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
However, the current study aimed to test whether regular intake of quercetin could help to reduce blood pressure in overweight and obese people with pre-hypertension and stage I high blood pressure.
The study tested 70 participants who were assigned to receive either 162mg/day of quercetin from onion skin extract powder or a placebo for six weeks.
The researchers measured ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) and office blood pressure before and after the intervention.
They showed that in the high blood pressure group, quercetin was able to decrease 24-hour systolic blood pressure by 3.6 mmHg compared to placebo.
Furthermore, quercetin strongly reduced daytime and nighttime systolic blood pressure in those with high blood pressure.
Interestingly, the researchers found that quercetin did not affect blood pressure biomarkers, oxidation, inflammation, lipid, and glucose metabolism in either the total group or the subgroup of hypertensive people.
The researchers concluded that supplementing with 162 mg/day of quercetin from onion skin extract powder could lower blood pressure, which suggests a potential heart-protective effect of quercetin.
These findings are important because high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications.
In fact, according to the World Health Organization, high blood pressure affects around 1 billion people worldwide and is responsible for approximately 8 million deaths each year.
While the study was relatively small and further research is needed to confirm these findings, it provides promising evidence that quercetin could be an effective natural remedy for high blood pressure, particularly in overweight and obese people.
In conclusion, the study from the University of Bonn suggests that quercetin, a natural compound found in red onion skin, may be beneficial in reducing high blood pressure in overweight and obese people.
The research was published in the British Journal of Nutrition and conducted by Verena Brüll et al.
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