Scientists from Ball State University and elsewhere found that natural coconut sugar may help reduce artery stiffness and high blood pressure in older people.
Coconut sap powder is an Asian sweetener and is used to produce many products including jaggery, vinegar, syrup, sugar, and treacle.
The sap is full of nutritious minerals like zinc and iron, essential for immune function, as well as antioxidants that prevent cell damage.
Previous research found that coconut sugar contains healthy fats that are known to help prevent high cholesterol and heart disease.
In this study, researchers examined how this coconut sugar may help reduce blood pressure and protect blood vessel health.
They tested a group of volunteers with an average age of 55. These people took either a coconut sap powder supplement or a placebo every day for eight weeks.
The researchers measured the volunteers’ resting heart rates, cholesterol levels, markers of inflammation, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness before and after the study.
They 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.
Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
However, the stiffness of the common carotid artery was reduced. The team also found blood markers of inflammation and oxidative stress did not change with the intake of coconut sap powder.
Based on the findings, the team concludes that coconut sap powder may help prevent heart disease by reducing blood pressure and artery stiffness.
The beneficial effects on blood pressure and arterial stiffness provide insight into coconut sap powder as a new way to treat age-related heart dysfunction and disease.
The study was conducted by Bradley S. Fleenor et al and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that drinking tea could help lower blood pressure, and early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure.
For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.
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