If you are suffering from high blood pressure, you may be in search of a product that can help you regulate your blood pressure and take a little of the weight off. In reliable medical studies, regular consumption of the dietary supplement known as Stevia has shown that it can help regulateand has uses in treating obesity. The plant-based substance has shown an adept ability to help regulate insulin for those with diabetes, as well as reduce high blood pressure. Medical publications have shown that it affects calcium transport in a way that is similar to a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers (like verapamil), which are usually used to treat high blood pressure. Lab trial runs have also shown that in lab animals, the substance can induce diuresis or water release, similar to diuretics also used to treat high blood pressure.
Understanding Calcium Channel Blockers
Let’s start with calcium channel blockers, or more precisely channel blockers. A calcium channel is an ion channel that displays selective permeability to calcium ions. It is sometimes the same as voltage-dependent calcium channel, though there are also ligand-gated channels. A calcium channel blocker is a class of drugs and natural substances that stop the calcium conduction of calcium channels. The main clinical use of calcium blockers is to decrease blood pressure. This being stated, it only comes as an obvious fact that Stevia, which has been proved to work in a similar fashion, would be a great and natural way to treat high blood pressure.
Diuresis, or water release, is the excretion of urine after drinking water. This results from reduced secretion of the anti-diuretic hormone of the neurohypophysis in response to the lowered osmotic pressure of the blood. In other words, if you experience the frequent urge to urinate – especially directly after drinking water – and you are taking Stevia, it only proves that your blood pressure is in fact lowering.
Stevia and High Blood Pressure
Dr. M.S. Melis from the Department of Biology at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil did a study to determine the effects of stevioside on blood pressure in 1991. A high-dose of stevioside was given to a group of laboratory rats one time, and it found that they experienced a reduction in blood pressure as well as an increased elimination of sodium. A slight diuretic effect was also seen in the test rats, which only lent more evidence to their lowering blood pressure.
Another study in Brazil involved eighteen average, healthy human volunteers between the ages of twenty and forty years of age. The test subjects were given tea prepared with Stevia leaves for thirty days, and after the test was complete, a ten percent lowering of blood pressure occurred. Although this study, and a few others, gives evidence to the fact of stevioside's ability to lower blood pressure, more human studies are needed before we can know the full vascular effects of stevia consumption.