Effects and safety of daily ingestion of plum extract on blood pressure: randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled parallel group comparison study

Mie Nishimura, Hiroyuki Kume, Akio Kadowaki, Nobuki Gato, Jun Nishihira


Background: Hypertension is an increasing health issue in Japan. Plums are widely consumed in Japan and are reported to have various health benefits, including improvements to blood flow. However, clinical trials investigating the effects of plum extract on blood pressure have not yet been conducted. Therefore, we evaluated the effects and safety of plum extract on blood pressure in this randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled parallel group comparison study.

Methods: Seventy-four healthy Japanese subjects with systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥130 and <160 mmHg were randomly divided into test and placebo groups. Subjects were given either plum extract-processed food (3.0 g of plum extract, containing 30 mg of mumefural and 1.119 g of citric acid) or placebo food daily for 12 weeks. Physical examinations, blood measurements, and medical interviews were performed at weeks 0, 4, 8, and 12 and at 2 weeks after the intake period.

Results: SBP and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) did not significantly differ between the groups. However, in subjects with grade I hypertension, DBP was significantly lower in the active test food group than in the placebo food group at week 12 and at 2 weeks after the intake period. An exploratory subgroup analysis revealed that plum extract improved DBP in subjects with normal to high obesity/class I obesity at week 12. Moreover, plum extract had positive effects on fatigue and bowel movements as determined by visual analog scale questionnaire evaluation. No abnormal changes or severe adverse events were observed in the physical examinations, blood measurements, or medical interviews in this trial.

Conclusion: These results suggest that plum extract is safe for long-term intake and improves DBP in subjects with grade I hypertension.

Keywords: blood pressure, clinical trial, mild hypertension, plum extract


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