High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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When blood pressure increases inside veins, the heart struggles to pump blood around the body. But the biggest danger with high blood pressure is the probability of a vein rupture or the formation of a blood clot. This makes high blood pressure the most important risk factor for having a stroke. According to researchers, coffee could dramatically increase blood pressure, for a short while after intake.
Early research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlighted a strong link between high blood pressure and caffeine intake.
Scientists on the team had specifically set out to determine the longer-term effects of coffee and caffeine on the blood pressure of hypertensive individuals.
Their results suggested that consuming between 200 and 300 mg of caffeine could increase blood pressure by 8.1mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 5.7 mm Hg within an hour of intake.
What’s more, they observed that this increase in blood pressure lasted for longer than three hours.
The Mayo Clinic states: “Caffeine may cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, even if you don’t have high blood pressure.
“It’s unclear what causes this spike in blood pressure. The blood pressure response to caffeine differs from person to person.”
One possible explanation for these effects is adrenal secretion.
A surge in adrenaline can cause the heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow, thereby increasing pressure inside the veins.
Interestingly, research has shown that regular intake of coffee lessens the beverage’s hypertensive effects.
Researchers believe this may be because people who habitually drink coffee may develop a tolerance to caffeine.
Based on the data, regular coffee intake may induce a small to moderate increase in blood pressure.
What’s more, people diagnosed with high blood pressure ought to know that coffee intake is unlikely to affect their overall risk of heart disease.
In fact, some research suggests the contrary.
Coffee offers a wealth of bioactive compounds that are touted for their potent antioxidant effects on the body.
Some of its phytochemicals include magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B, which protect against oxidative stress.
In doing so, it’s been theorised that the health benefits of coffee may outweigh the potential risks related to caffeine.
In fact, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2020 established that drinking two to five daily cups of coffee may protect against heart disease, diabetes and some cancer.
Scientists cautioned, however, that too much coffee may cause problems including anxiety, nervousness and insomnia.
The main takeaway from these studies is that moderate coffee intake may be the safest and most beneficial to health.
Other precautionary measures against hypertension, including regular exercise and a healthy diet, should also be considered.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some examples of aerobic exercise that can help lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing.
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