Watermelon extract reduces high blood pressure to such an extent in overweight people that it could be a life-saver, say researchers this week.
It helps relieve stress on the heart, especially during times when it has to work harder, such as during cold weather, researchers at Florida State University have found.
They discovered the extract "significantly" reduces blood pressure when they tested it on a group of 13 overweight people who were suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure).
Their hearts had to work harder when their hands were put into freezing water of 39 degrees F (4 degrees C) each day for six weeks while they were given 4 g L-citrulline and 2 g L-arginine, both watermelon extracts. During the study period, they stopped taking any antihypertensive drugs, and were told not to change their usual exercise habits or diet.
(Source: American Journal of Hypertension, 2014; doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpt295)