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February 2015

Eating Blueberries Might Lower Blood Pressure

Eating blueberries daily might help lower blood pressure in women with high blood pressure, according to a recent study.

Blueberries have high antioxidant levels due to the presence of anthocyanins, which are the pigments many plants produce to attract the birds and insects necessary for pollination. Lowbush (wild) blueberries have higher levels of certain antioxidant compounds than highbush varieties.

In a recent study, researchers randomly assigned 48 post-menopausal women with high blood pressure to receive either 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder or 22 grams of a control powder for eight weeks. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as arterial stiffness and other various outcome measures were evaluated at the beginning of the study, at week 4, and at the end of the study.

The researchers found that after 8 weeks, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly reduced in women receiving blueberry when compared to women in the control group. Furthermore, nitric oxide levels were greater in women in the blueberry group.

The authors concluded that eating blueberries might reduce blood pressure in women, possibly as a result of the increase in nitric oxide. Larger-scale, well-designed clinical trials are needed to further evaluate these findings.

For information about blueberries, please visit Natural Medicines’ Food, Herbs & Supplements Database.

References

  1. Johnson SA, Figueroa A, Navaei N, et al. 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. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Jan 2.

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