LivingEating blueberries daily could improve cardiovascular health

Eating blueberries daily could improve cardiovascular health

Low consumption of fruits and vegetables is one of the main modifiable risk factors associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases worldwide. Now we have news.

100 grams of blueberries a day improves cardiovascular function in healthy men, is the main conclusion of a recent investigation carried out by experts from King’s College London (United Kingdom), who followed 45 healthy adult men (aged 18 and 45 years of age) for one month.

Participants were given whole blueberry powder, equivalent to 100 grams of fresh blueberries daily, and compared to a control group given a placebo.

The clinical trial explored the cardiovascular effects of freeze-dried whole cranberry powder, finding that daily consumption can lead to long-term benefits for heart health. The study, published in the journal Food & Function, indicates that natural compounds in blueberries, known as polyphenols, can improve blood vessel function and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Analysis

Those men who ate the berries every day saw their arteries widen by 1.1% after one month, a key sign of improved blood flow. If the arteries become narrowed, it can decrease blood flow to the heart and trigger a number of health problems and even a heart attack. In the control group there were no changes.

“Our findings provide strong evidence that blueberries can significantly affect vascular health even in people at low cardiovascular risk. This study further indicates that specific metabolites present in the blood after blueberry consumption are associated with beneficial effects.” Christian Hess of the University of Surrey, who was also involved in the study.

The boost in artery widening is thought to occur when the body breaks down the fruit and the blood becomes rich in antioxidants.

Analysis of blood and urine samples showed that 13 chemicals contained in blueberries were associated with increased levels of foot-and-mouth disease.

Clues about the mechanisms in play

“The increases in polyphenols and metabolites in the bloodstream and the related improvements in flow-mediated dilation after blueberry consumption emphasizes the important role that blueberries may play in preventing cardiovascular disease. The fact that these improvements in cardiovascular health observed with an amount of blueberries that can be reasonably consumed on a daily basis makes blueberries an important fruit in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases for the general public ,” explains Ana Rodr√≠guez-Mateos, senior professor of nutrition at the King’s College Department of Nutritional Sciences and co-author of the paper.

Be that as it may, the researchers stress that this is not proof of a causal connection, but the findings point researchers to more focused future studies that may focus on possible direct mechanisms.

Reference: Christian Heiss et al . Daily consumption of cranberry improves endothelial function in healthy adults: a double blind randomized controlled trial. Food & Function , published online March 22, 2022; doi: 10.1039/D2FO00080F

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