Sesame lignan may help control blood pressure

Related tags Blood pressure Atherosclerosis Blood vessel Hypertension

Leading Japanese drinks maker Suntory says it has found sesamin,
one of the lignans most abundant in sesame seed and oil, helps to
control high blood pressure.

The company has carried out research with the Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences on an in vivo metabolite of sesamin.

The metabolite was found to have a vasodepressing property that helps control high blood pressure, according to a JCNN report.

Taiwanese researchers reported in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of Hypertension​ that sesamin may improve blood pressure control by its action on nitric oxide production and its ability to inhibit ET-1 production - which constricts blood vessels - from endothelial cells.

Sesamin has already been demonstrated to have lipid-lowering effects, antioxidant effects, and immunoregulatory functions.

Suntory's health foods division has been marketing Sesamin E, a supplement made from sesame, since 1993.

Japanese researchers are also investigating milk peptides and other natural compounds for their blood pressure lowering effects.

US researchers warned earlier this year that more than 1.5 billion people will have high blood pressure by 2025, or around one in three adults over the age 20. This represents a 60 per cent increase over the next 20 years.

About two thirds of strokes and half the incidence of heart disease are attributable to raised blood pressure, according to the World Health Organisation.

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