A new study that explored the diets of more than 25,000 participants has observed that people who consume a diet that includes a significant amount of flavanols have lower blood pressure. The list of foods rich in flavanols includes berries, apples, and tea.
Previous research has suggested that flavanols can offer health benefits, but the new study is the first one to measure the intake in a clear manner with the help of biomarkers that can be found in urine samples, which is more accurate than food diaries.
Available in variable amounts
The number of flavanols can vary across foods, and in some cases, the differences are quite high. For example, some types of tea can contain up to 330 milligrams per 100 grams of product, while others only contain ten milligrams even if the amount remains the same.
By using an accurate tool that facilitated quantification, researchers were able to find data that is also more accurate and more useful in the long run. Estimates can be useful in some cases, but several factors have to be taken into account, complicating research efforts.
Effective on a small scale
The blood pressure difference between people with the maximum and minimum flavanol intake is quite small, ranging between 2 to 4 mmHg. However, the benefit is similar to the one experienced by people who consume a Mediterranean or DASH diet, as well as those who reduce the intake of sodium.
It is worth noting that there are no links between flavonol intake and the potential of a lower risk of developing heart disease. Flavanols can be encountered among teas, apples, pears, and berries, with apples and berries being the most popular sources. There are many similar compounds that help plants to keep pests away while offering health benefits for humans.
The study was published in a scientific journal.