Food Executive

Measures of blood pressure variation have been associated with cardiovascular disease and related outcomes. The regular consumption of black tea can lower the blood pressure level, but its effects on blood pressure variation have yet to be investigated.

A clinical trial conducted by researchers from Australia, Russia and Netherlands and published on The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was aimed to assess the effects of black tea consumption on the rate of ambulatory blood pressure variation.

Men and women (n = 111) with systolic blood pressure between 115 and 150 mm Hg at screening were recruited in a randomized, controlled, double-blind, 6-mo parallel-designed trial designed primarily to assess effects on blood pressure. Participants consumed 3 cups/d of either powdered black tea solids (tea) or a flavonoid-free caffeine-matched beverage (control). The 24-h ambulatory blood pressure level and rate of measurement-to-measurement blood pressure variation were assessed at baseline, day 1, and 3 and 6 mo.

Across the 3 time points, tea, compared with the control, resulted in lower rates of systolic (P = 0.0045) and diastolic (P = 0.016) blood pressure variation by 10% during nighttime (2200–0600). These effects, which were immediate at day 1 and sustained over 6 mo, were independent of the level of blood pressure and heart rate. The rate of blood pressure variation was not significantly altered during daytime (0800–2000).

These findings indicate that a component of black tea solids, other than caffeine, can influence the rate of blood pressure variation during nighttime. Thus, small dietary changes have the potential to significantly influence the rate of blood pressure variation.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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