Red Grapefruit Juice to Lower BP and Cholesterol
It is not well known that grapefruit (particularly red grapefruit) can naturally lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
This is surprising because a small 2006 Israeli study clearly demonstrated a link between grapefruit consumption and reductions in both blood pressure and cholesterol. While it was a small study and 10+ years ago, the logic still holds that eating red grapefruity can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol (for details, see my post, Grapefruit Pros and Cons.)
Why the lack of information about how to naturally lower blood pressure and cholesterol with grapefruit? A jaded view would say it’s easier for doctors to prescribe statins and/or blood pressure medications. A less jaded view would be that hypertension and high cholesterol are too serious to leave people to treat it ‘naturally’ and indeed some folks might not be vigilant enough.
But I think a very-well monitored first attempt to get hypertension and cholesterol under control with lifestyle changes (exercise, nutrition) is vital. Why take statins or blood pressure medications if simply adding grapefruit on a daily basis works for you? Currently, the first medical directive for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol focuses solely on reducing saturated fat and salt. I think adding grapefruit—especially red grapefruit—should be discussed as a first-step, physician-monitored plan.
Now before I say another word, please note that if you take any cholesterol-lowering or blood pressure medication (or lots of other meds, actually) you MUST NOT add grapefruit or grapefruit juice to your diet without speaking with your doctor. See the ** warning at bottom of post!
Assuming you are OK to safely consume grapefruit, you might be put off by its sourness. I was happy to discover that I quite like the Trader Joe’s Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice (not the ‘drink’ but the fresh juice in the refrigerated section.) As explained in my post about Metamucil, I now mix Metamucil into roughly 8 ounces of red grapefruit juice for an added cholesterol-lowering punch. After several weeks I was delighted to experience a heartening dip in blood pressure.
So if you do not take a statin, hypertension or other medication (again, see warning below), consider adding red grapefruit or red grapefruit juice to your daily diet to help naturally lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
** VERY IMPORTANT: do NOT eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice if you are on statins or hypertension or indeed, many other medications. Specifically, do NOT eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice if you take Lipitor or any other statin medication to lower cholesterol or any blood pressure medication without speaking first to your doctor. (Grapefruit warning applies also to medications for heart rhythm, depression, anxiety, HIV, immunosuppression, allergies, impotence, and seizures.) It is dangerous to start eating grapefruit (or drinking grapefruit juice) if you take any of these medications as they affect how the drugs are absorbed. If you take any medication, do not start to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice unless you speak to your doctor first.