Exploring How Hawthorn Fruit and Hyperoside Can Lower Blood Pressure

Jim Crocker
10th May, 2024

Exploring How Hawthorn Fruit and Hyperoside Can Lower Blood Pressure

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a study by Shandong University, hawthorn extract lowered blood pressure in hypertensive rats
  • Hawthorn treatment normalized bile acid levels, which are linked to blood pressure regulation
  • The study revealed changes in genes related to bile acid metabolism and inflammation, which may explain hawthorn's benefits
Hawthorn, a fruit known for its sweet and sour flavor, has long been recognized for its therapeutic benefits, particularly in treating conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. In recent research conducted by Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine[1], scientists have taken a closer look at hawthorn's potential for treating hypertension, a common and dangerous condition characterized by persistently high blood pressure. This study focused on spontaneously hypertensive rats, a model often used to mimic human hypertension. Over a period of seven weeks, the rats were treated with hawthorn extract and hyperoside, a key component of hawthorn. The results were promising: both treatments significantly reduced blood pressure in these rats. To understand how hawthorn achieves its antihypertensive effects, researchers employed a technique called serum metabolomics. This approach allows scientists to analyze the complex mix of small molecules in the blood, providing insights into the metabolic pathways that are altered by hawthorn treatment. The study identified the primary bile acid biosynthesis pathway as a key regulator of blood pressure affected by hawthorn extract and hyperoside. Bile acids, which are synthesized in the liver, have been implicated in the regulation of blood pressure. The study found that the levels of bile acid in the hypertensive rats differed significantly from those in normal rats. However, after treatment with hawthorn or hyperoside, these levels approached those seen in the normal group, suggesting a normalization of bile acid metabolism. Further investigation into the genes related to bile acid metabolism and inflammation revealed significant changes in the expression of nine specific genes in the hawthorn and hyperoside groups compared to the hypertensive model group. These included genes for the farnesoid X receptor (FXR), TGR5, endothelin-1 (ET-1), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS3), and others involved in inflammation and blood pressure regulation. These findings align with previous studies that have highlighted the health benefits of hawthorn. For instance, research has shown that hawthorn extract can improve lipid profiles and enhance the antioxidant defense system in ovariectomized rats[2], as well as demonstrate hypoglycemic effects in a type II diabetic rat model[3]. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of hyperoside, another constituent of hawthorn, have been shown to suppress vascular inflammation, a key factor in the development of atherosclerosis[4]. The current study expands on these earlier findings by elucidating the antihypertensive mechanisms of hawthorn, suggesting that its beneficial effects extend to the management of high blood pressure through modulation of bile acid biosynthesis and inflammation-related genes. This could be particularly significant for patients with hypertension, offering a potential natural alternative or complement to conventional treatments. The research also supports the notion that hawthorn could be developed into a functional food or alternative therapy for hypertension. With its history of use in traditional medicine systems and the growing body of scientific evidence, hawthorn extract and its components, like hyperoside, may soon play a more prominent role in the management of cardiovascular diseases. In conclusion, the study from Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine provides valuable insights into the antihypertensive effects of hawthorn and its components. By identifying the metabolic pathways and gene expressions influenced by hawthorn treatment, this research takes a significant step forward in understanding how natural products like hawthorn can be harnessed to combat hypertension, a major health concern worldwide.



Main Study

1) Study on the hypotensive effect and mechanism of hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida) fruits and hyperoside in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

Published 9th May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Hawthorn Fruit Extract Elevates Expression of Nrf2/HO-1 and Improves Lipid Profiles in Ovariectomized Rats.


3) Hypoglycemic effect of hawthorn in type II diabetes mellitus rat model.


4) Hyperoside suppresses tumor necrosis factor α-mediated vascular inflammatory responses by downregulating mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear factor-κB signaling.


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