Chronic stress and smoking are major risk factors for hypertension, with stress also being a factor predisposing to smoking. Methods are needed to prevent and/or reduce hypertension induced by chronic exposure to both stress and nicotine. This study investigated whether trans-anethole would prevent hypertension induced by chronic exposure to both restraint stress and nicotine in rats. Rats received nicotine intraperitoneally for 21 days following restraint stress (2 h/day) and trans-anethole (62, 125, and 250 mg/kg) on days 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20. To confirm the preventive effects of trans-anethole, blood pressure and vascular tone were measured on the last day of the experiment, and compared with the results of nifedipine and aerobic exercise. The ability of trans-anethole, at doses of 125 mg/kg and 250 mg/kg, to prevent hypertension was comparable to that of aerobic exercise and nifedipine. Furthermore, nifedipine combined with aerobic exercise and trans-anethole reduced both blood pressure and vascular tone. These findings are the first to show that trans-anethole can prevent hypertension, suggesting that trans-anethole may be useful as a prophylactic antihypertensive agent.
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