Men needed for Norwich Medical School research study

Researchers at the University of East Anglia are looking to recruit men for a study testing whether eating certain plant-based foods can affect blood pressure regulation.

The study, which is one of the first of its kind, will see researchers in the Norwich Medical School test whether natural compounds in plant-based foods, called flavonoids, can have tangible health benefits.

In nature, flavonoids perform a variety of roles including protecting plants against toxins and repairing damage, and in human studies blood vessels have tended to become more 'relaxed' following flavonoid intake. The health benefits of this effect could be to lower blood pressure, which in turn might lower the risk of damage to major organs such as the heart.

This new study will focus on assessing the benefits of flavonoids on the body's blood pressure control system - from the brain's role in blood pressure regulation through to the activity and action of blood molecules that influence it.

Study co-ordinator Dr Peter Curtis said: 'There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that flavonoids may have a role in protecting against heart disease, but what remains uncertain is how improvements in blood vessel control are regulated.

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'Understanding how flavonoids affect blood vessel control could be the first step in designing longer-term studies aimed at improving heart-health.'

Potential participants need to be men between 50 and 75, who are non-smokers without a history of heart disease, diabetes or cancer, and who are not taking blood pressure or cholesterol-lowering drugs or flavonoid food supplements.

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They will need to attend the university on three or four occasions for a number of hours at a time, where blood samples and blood pressure control measurements will be taken to assess any changes after eating a range of flavonoids.

To find out more information or to volunteer, contact the research team on 01603 591063 or

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