We investigated the effects of azuki bean (Vigna angularis) seed coats (ABSC), which contain polyphenols, on the vascular oxidative stress and inflammation associated with hypertension. Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and control normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were divided into 2 groups each. One group was fed 0% ABSC; the other, a 1.0% ABSC-containing diet. Tail systolic blood pressure (SBP) was examined throughout ABSC treatment. At 8 weeks, vascular superoxide (O(2)(-)) production was measured by lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence. mRNA expressions of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase subunits, macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and its receptor C-C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) in the aorta were analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Protein expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) were determined by western blotting. Polyphenol-containing ABSC suppressed the elevation of SBP throughout the treatment period. The NADPH-stimulated O(2)(-) level decreased significantly in the aorta of ABSC-treated SHR compared with the level of untreated SHR. The p47phox and Nox4 mRNA expression increased significantly in untreated SHR compared with that in WKY rats. Conversely, the level of p47phox mRNA was significantly lower in ABSC-treated SHR than in untreated SHR. The protein abundance of both iNOS and COX-2 was significantly decreased in the aorta of the ABSC-treated SHR compared with this abundance in untreated SHR. The MCP-1 and CCR2 mRNA expressions increased in untreated SHR, and these levels were significantly lower in ABSC-treated SHR. In conclusion, our results suggested that polyphenol-containing ABSC could attenuate vascular oxidative stress and inflammation during the progression of hypertension, and this may lead to an improvement in hypertension.