High blood pressure affects one in four adults in the UK and can lead to life-threatening complications such as heart attack and stroke if left untreated. So doing what you can to control blood pressure is very important, and this can be achieved through making some simple lifestyle changes. Experts advise one way to prevent or reduce high blood pressure is to eat healthily. Cutting down on the amount of salt in your food and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is highly recommended.
Some experts have also suggested supplements have potential benefits, including grape seed extract supplements.
Several studies have demonstrated the positive effects of grape seed extract on high blood pressure.
A meta-analysis of 16 studies involving 810 people with high blood pressure examined the effect of grape seed extract.
The research showed 100-2,000mg of grape seed extract per day significantly reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number of a blood pressure reading) by an average of 6.08mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) was reduced by 2.8mmHg.
Participants under the age of 50, who were obese or hold metabolic disorders, showed the greatest improvements.
The most promising results came from lower disease of 100-800mg a day for 8-16 weeks.
Another study that looked at 29 adults with high blood pressure found 300mg of grape seed extract daily lowered systolic blood pressure by 5.6 per cent and diastolic blood pressure by 4.7 per cent after six weeks.
Grape seed extract is available in the form of tablets.
It’s made by removing, drying and pulverising grape seeds.
As well as reducing blood pressure, grape seed extract could also be beneficial to blood vessels, reducing oxidative damage and improving blood flow.
Other benefits which have been found from taking grape seed extract are supporting brain health and improving kidney function.
Alongside eating a healthy diet, the NHS recommend taking regular exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking to prevent or reduce high blood pressure.
When it comes to alcohol intake it says: “Regularly drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time.
“Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure – men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week and spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week.”
Regular exercise should involve doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a day, such as cycling or fasting walking.
The health body adds: “Physical activity can include anything from sport to walking and gardening.”
Smoking is not a direct cause of high blood pressure, but can put you at higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
Three more supplements have been found to lower blood pressure.