1 Cup Of Blue Berries Can Reduce Blood Pressure

| February 12, 2015

There’s a lot more to heart health than keeping your cholesterol levels in check. In fact, reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness, both of which are associated with cardiovascular disease, are at the top of the list — before cholesterol.

According to the latest study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating as little as 1 cup of blueberries a day can delay the progression of prehypertension to hypertension and therefore reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

For the study, 48 post-menopausal women with pre- and stage-1 hypertension were randomly assigned to receive either 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder — the equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries daily — or 22 grams of a placebo powder, over an eight-week period. The participants meanwhile, continued their normal diet and exercise routines.

Blood pressure and arterial stiffness of all the participants were measured at the study’s onset. At the end of the eight weeks, participants receiving the blueberry powder had on average a 7 mmHg (5.1 per cent) decrease in systolic blood pressure.

Systolic blood pressure is the top number in the blood pressure reading that measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats.

The blueberry extract group also saw a 5 mmHg (6.3 per cent) reduction in diastolic blood pressure — the bottom number measuring the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.

Additionally, participants in the blueberry extract group had an average reduction of 6.5 per cent in arterial stiffness. The researchers also found that nitric oxide, a blood biomarker known to be involved in the widening of blood vessels, increased by 68.5 per cent.

According to lead researcher, Dr. Sarah A. Johnson, the increase of nitric oxide is a significant finding because arterial stiffness and the narrowing of blood vessels play a major role in high blood pressure. This rise in nitric oxide helps explain the reductions in blood pressure.

Previous studies on blueberries have also shown positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure. However, these studies included the consumption of large amounts of blueberry powder — 50 grams to 250 grams. These amounts aren’t realistic for daily consumption because 250 grams of blueberry powder translates to more than 11 cups of fresh blueberries.

This latest study is even more promising because eating 22 grams of blueberries (1 cup) a day is much easier to achieve (and afford!).

So, if you’re thinking about topping your breakfast with a healthy dose of blueberries, go right ahead. The findings of this study once again shows how functional foods — foods that have a positive impact on health beyond basic nutrition — can help prevent and reverse the negative effects of cardiovascular risk factors.

Here's to keeping your heart strong and healthy

Francois Lubbe
Editor
for The Cholesterol Truth


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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


Sources:

1 cup of blueberries can reduce blood pressure, published online 19.01.15, lef.org

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2014.11.001

“Daily Blueberry Consumption Improves Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Postmenopausal Women with Pre- and Stage 1-Hypertension: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial” Authors: S.A. Johnson, A. Figueroa, N. Navaei, et al.

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Category: Cardiovascular Risks

Comments (1)

Testimonials are based on the personal experience of individuals. Results are not typical and the potential benefits of taking any drug or supplement may vary depending on your individual needs and health requirements. Please consult your GP before making any changes to your medical regimen.

  1. Jerry Bolton says:

    This is what me and more people are looking for. We are tired of big pharma and it’s legal drug pushers the doctors profiting off causing fear in us. They have known that the Creator has put all the healing and nutrition in the foods. If the food producers leave the food the hell alone, we all can live much longer and healthier lives!

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