HealthDay News — Daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Although antihypertensive drug therapies exist, increasing numbers of people prefer natural therapies,” noted Sarah A. Johnson, PhD, RD, of Florida State University in Tallahassee, and colleagues.
“In vivo studies and a limited number of clinical studies have demonstrated the antihypertensive and vascular-protective effects of blueberries.”
To examine the effects of daily blueberry consumption, the investigators conducted an eight-week randomized, placebo controlled trial involving 48 postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension. Patients were assigned to receive 22 g freeze-dried blueberry powder or control powder for eight weeks.
Systolic blood pressure (P<0.05), diastolic blood pressure, (P<0.01), and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (P<0.01) were significantly lower than baseline levels after eight weeks, with significant group-by-time interactions in the blueberry powder group (P<0.05). No changes were seen in the group receiving control powder.
At eight weeks, nitric oxide levels were greater in the blueberry powder group compared with baseline levels (P<0.01), while no changes were observed in the control group.
“Daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which may be due, in part, to increased nitric oxide production,” concluded the scientists.
- Johnson SA et al. Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2015; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.11.001
The study was funded by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council/U.S. Department of Agriculture.