The antioxidant vitamin E was able to reduce high blood pressure in rats who had kidney failure. Researchers at the University of Texas, find that rats with impaired kidneys and high blood pressure produce large amounts of damaging free radicals. This process, known as oxidative stress, now looks to play a key role in high blood pressure. In the latest study, they also show that giving the animals vitamin E, a known antioxidant, reduces the high blood pressure.
The vitamin seems to work by restoring levels of nitric oxide, a natural hormone which can relax blood vessels and also has antioxidant properties. Previously, levels of nitric oxide were impaired in the kidney-damaged rats.
The study opens up the exciting possibility that you might be able to treat high blood pressure and even kidney failure in humans with antioxidant therapy.