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)