(NaturalNews) Heart disease and stroke continue to be the leading cause of death in the US, as vascular deterioration and dysfunction result in hypertension and ultimately, an early demise. Elevated blood pressure results in micro-cracks to the delicate endothelial lining of the blood vessels that must be patched by plaque (formed largely of circulating oxidized LDL cholesterol and calcium particles), beginning the process of atherosclerosis and greatly increased risk of heart attack.
Natural methods of lowering high blood pressure can allow the body to heal damaged vessels and arteries, dramatically lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. Researchers from Florida State University have published the result of a study in the American Journal of Hypertension that explains how natural watermelon extract helps reduce moderately elevated blood pressure by providing a rich source of the amino acids, citrulline and arginine, both known to relax vascular pressure.
Watermelon extract lowers blood pressure to normal range for many suffering from hypertension
In prior studies, citrulline and arginine have been shown as effective agents to reduce blood pressure, but further research was necessary to validate the results. The scientists recruited fourteen volunteers with an average age of 58 to receive either a concentrated watermelon extract (providing six grams of a citrulline/arginine mixture daily) or a placebo for a period of six weeks. They then observed a two week washout period with no supplementation before crossing over to the other group.
At the end of the study, researchers found that systolic pressure (upper blood pressure number) in the supplemented group was lowered in the arm and ankle by 15.1 and 11.5mmHg respectively, compared to the placebo participants. Diastolic pressure was lowered by 7.6 and 7.8 mmHg. For many participants, this reduction was enough to lower blood pressure from a pre-hypertension state to a normal reading, significantly lowering the risk of heart attack or stroke.
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