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Hibiscus Flowers Help Your Heart

New research finds extract helps control cholesterol levels

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Hibiscus flowers may help your heart in the same way that red wine and tea do, claims new research from China.

Hibiscus contains antioxidants that help control cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease, says a study in the current issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Hibiscus is used in folk medicine to treat hypertension and liver disorders, and is used to make popular soft drinks in various countries around the world, the researchers said.

In the study, rats given a hibiscus flower extract were found to have significantly reduced cholesterol levels in their blood.

"Experiments have shown that compounds extracted from red wine and tea reduce cholesterol and lipid build-up in the arteries of rats," said lead researcher Chau-Jong Wang, of the Chung Shan Medical University in China. "This is the first study to show that hibiscus extract has the same effect."

More information

The American Heart Association has more about vitamin and mineral supplements.

SOURCES: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, news release, Sept. 15, 2004
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