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  • Presented at a symposium in honour of Lawrie Beilin held in conjunction with the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting, Melbourne, 6–7 December 2005. The papers in these proceedings have been peer reviewed.

Dr Natalie C Ward, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, PO Box X2213, Perth, WA 6847, Australia. Email:


  • 1Oxidative stress has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension. This may be via a number of possible mechanisms, including quenching of the important vasodilator nitric oxide.
  • 2Animal studies have generally supported the hypothesis that increased blood pressure is associated with increased oxidative stress. However, human studies have been inconsistent and may differ owing to the populations studied and the various methods used. Treatment with anti-oxidants has been suggested to lower oxidative stress and, therefore, blood pressure. However, to date, studies investigating single or combination supplements have failed to show any consistent benefit.
  • 3Overall, the evidence supporting the link between hypertension and oxidative stress remains inconclusive, with methodological and population differences possibly confounding results. Further studies investigating this relationship are warranted.