Celery for blood pressure

Published: Saturday 15 August 1992

-- SCIENTISTS have discovered that celery, which was used as a herbal remedy in ancient times, contains a chemical that may lower blood pressure.

A University of Chicago Medical Centre team found that a chemical compound, 3-n-butyl phthalide, which is extracted from celery, can lower blood pressure in laboratory animals by relaxing the smooth muscles that line the blood vessels. Daily consumption of the chemical reduced blood pressure in rats by as much as 14 per cent and cholesterol by about 7 per cent.

If the finding can be confirmed in human beings, the research may lead to a treatment for high blood pressure that is free of the distressing side-effects, such as impotence and dizziness, that plague current remedies.

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