Tomatoes are emerging as a food-based, natural remedy for high blood pressure. A new study from the University of Oslo shows that taking a single dose of the tomato extract, Fruitflow, can significantly lower blood pressure readings – even when they are only slightly elevated and in the prehypertension range.
What is Fruitflow?
Fruitflow is a clear extract obtained from the jelly surrounding the seeds of sun-ripened tomatoes. Fruitflow is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, including quercetin, and has been shown to improve blood flow and protect against unwanted blood clots by making platelets less spiky.
Fruitflow tomato extract also has a natural ability to block the action of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) in a similar way to ACE inhibitor drugs that are commonly prescribed to lower a high blood pressure.
These benefits of Fruitflow are separate to those of the antioxidant carotenoid pigment, lycopene, which gives tomatoes their vibrant red colour.
Fruitflow reduces blood pressure in prehypertensive men
The new study involved 12 men with a slightly elevated blood pressure in the prehypertensive range (systolic blood pressure 120–139 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure 80–89 mmHg). On two separate occasions, they were randomised to take either a single 150mg dose of Fruitflow tomato extract, or a placebo, so acted as their own controls.
After taking the supplements, each volunteer had their blood pressure measured for 24 hours via an Ambulatory Blood Pressure monitor (every 30 minutes during the day, and hourly during the night).
The single dose of Fruitflow resulted in the men having an average blood pressure that was 8/5 mmHg lower than when they took the placebo.
The blood pressure monitors also tagged each systolic blood pressure reading (upper value) that spiked above 135 mmHg while awake or above 120mmHg while asleep.
For diastolic blood pressure (lower reading), values were tagged if they spiked above 85 mmHg while awake or 70 mmHg during sleep.
Overall, the number of blood pressure spikes experienced by the study group were reduced by 57% (systolic) and 27% (diastolic) after taking Fruitflow compared with the placebo.
These effects were apparent throughout the day and night, and the changes were sufficient to move the men from the prehypertensive into the normotensive (normal blood pressure) category.
Reduction with Fruitflow
24 hour average BP:
|126/81 mmHg||118/76 mmHg||– 8/5 mmHg|
Waking average BP:
|130/84 mmHg||121/78 mmHg||– 9/6 mmHg|
Sleeping average BP:
|112/70 mmHg||106/67 mmHg||– 6/3 mmHg|
According to Dr Asim Duttaroy, of the University of Oslo’s Faculty of Medicine, ‘To the untrained eye, these figures may seem like small variations, but data from US colleagues suggests that from a public health standpoint, every 1 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure could prevent approximately 10,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year.’
As with previous trials, the study also showed that taking Fruitflow has a positive effect on platelet function. Before taking Fruitflow, the men’s average platelet function showed that 82% aggregated when stimulated, while after taking Fruitflow this went down to only 68%, meaning that the tomato extract can help to reduce unwanted blood clots.
There’s every reason to presume that Fruitflow tomato extracts will have beneficial effects on blood pressure in women, too, if I’m anything to go by!