Purple Potatoes May Reduce Hypertension and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Researchers investigated the effect of high-antioxidant potatoes on hypertension. In a single-dose study, 6-8 microwaved potatoes with skins or a comparable amount of refined starch as cooked biscuits were given to normal fasting subjects (n=8), and repeated samples of blood were taken over an 8 h period. A 24 h urine was taken before and after each regimen. Potato caused an increase in plasma and urine antioxidant capacity, whereas refined potato starch caused a decrease. In a crossover study, hypertensive subjects (n=18) with an average BMI of 29 were given either six to eight small microwaved purple potatoes twice daily or no potatoes for 4 wks and then given the other regimen for 4 wks. No significant effect of potato on fasting plasma glucose, lipids, or HbA1c or significant body weight increase. Diastolic blood pressure significantly decreased 4.3%, a 4 mm reduction. Systolic blood pressure decreased 3.5%, a 5 mm reduction. Results suggest that purple potatoes are a pot entially effective hypotensive agent and may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in hypertensive subjects without weight gain.

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