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Can certain polyphenols increase the blood pressure?

Can certain polyphenols increase the blood pressure?

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Moderator: Dr. James J. Kenney, PhD, LD, FACN

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  1. Can certain polyphenols increase the blood pressure?

    • Not as far as I know. Indeed, there is growing evidence that polyphenols can actually help lower blood pressure (BP). For example, the polyphenols in cocoa powder appear to lower BP and when they are destroyed with alkali (known as “Dutching”) then the cocoa powder losses most of its tendency to lower BP. Of course, as helpful as a diet high in polyphenols in lower BP most research suggests it is far more important to reduce salt and increase potassium in the diet. Fortunately many foods high in polyphenols such as fruits, beans, and some vegetables are also high in potassium and naturally low in salt. Eating less refined, processed foods high in salt and eating more mimimally processed plant foods is an effective way to lower primary hypertension and reduce or even eliminate the need for BP medications. If you are going to make major changes in your diet to see if you can control your elevated BP without medication be sure to talk to your doctor first as it can be dangerous to stop some BP-meds all at once and it can be dangerous to take some BP-meds when the diet is much lower in salt and higher in potassium-rich fruits and vegetables.

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