Monthly Archives: July 2016

More Reasons to Eat Blueberries- Part Two

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Metabolic syndrome is a growing problem, not only in the U.S., but worldwide. Some of the components of metabolic syndrome include increased abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high triglycerides associated with low HDL (“good cholesterol”), and impaired glucose tolerance. Some of you may be familiar with the term “insulin resistance” in the context of metabolic syndrome.

As metabolic syndrome may be a precursor to the development of diabetes there is considerable on-going research on this topic. A study performed at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University examined the effect of blueberry intake on obese men and women with metabolic syndrome. In particular, cardiovascular risk factors were examined.

Forty-eight participants were randomized to either a blueberry group or control group. Those in the blueberry group consumed a freeze-dried blueberry beverage twice a day, while the control group drank an equivalent amount of water.

Over the eight week course of the study the blood pressure in the blueberry group dropped 6% (systolic) and 4% (diastolic). Biomarkers of oxidative stress were also decreased in the blueberry group. Oxidized LDL dropped 28%, while combined serum malondialdehyde and hydroxynonenal concentrations dropped 17%. Both the decreases in blood pressure and oxidative stress biomarkers were substantially larger in the blueberry group than the control (water) group.

Interestingly this study shows a similar drop in blood pressure to the blueberry study we previously reviewed. This is simply more evidence of the beneficial effects of blueberries on cardiovascular health, in a particularly high-risk population.

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.

(Source- The Journal of Nutrition, July 21, 2010)

Blood Pressure Creeping Up? Think Blue(berries)

“When any lagged behind, the cry of “blueberries” was most effectual to bring them up.”
Henry David Thoreau

Bluberries1Blueberry

July is National Blueberries Month and in honor of this delectable fruit today’s post will examine research on the health benefits of blueberries.

Recent research indicates that daily consumption of blueberry powder lowered both blood pressure and arterial stiffness in a group of post-menopausal women, who were either in pre-hypertension or the earliest stages of hypertension. A research group primarily from Florida State University followed 48 women through the 8 week study. Women were allocated to a blueberry powder group (equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries per day) or a placebo powder group.

Subjects in both groups were asked to continue their usual diet and exercise regimens (or lack thereof). After 8 weeks of daily blueberry powder the women were found to have a mean reduction of 5.1% in systolic blood pressure, and 6.3% in diastolic blood pressure, while the placebo powder group had no change.

What’s important about this study is that it shows the potential benefits of a simple dietary intervention, eating blueberries, on lowering blood pressure. It would be interesting to know if eating actual blueberries rather than the powder, would offer more blood pressure benefit, or whether eating more than just a cup of blueberries would offer additional benefit. Also, is this blood pressure lowering effect of blueberries extended to the general population?

(Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March 2015, Volume 115, Number 3)

This blog is a review of medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.