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Daily Blueberry Consumption Improves Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Postmenopausal Women

The objetive of this study is to examine the effects of daily blueberry consumption for 8 weeks on blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension.

Journal of the Academy of Nutritionand DeteticsRESEACH TITLE: 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.

COUNTRIES: US

CONDUCTED BY: Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee; School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, California; Department of Statistics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

PUBLISHED ON: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

RESEARCH:

Background

Postmenopausal women have a high prevalence of hypertension and often develop arterial stiffness thereby increasing cardiovascular disease risk. Although antihypertensive drug therapies exist, increasing numbers of people prefer natural therapies. In vivo studies and a limited number of clinical studies have demonstrated the antihypertensive and vascular-protective effects of blueberries.

Objective

To examine the effects of daily blueberry consumption for 8 weeks on blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension.

Design

This was an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Participants/setting

Forty-eight postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension recruited from the greater Tallahassee, FL, area participated.

Intervention

Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 22 g freeze-dried blueberry powder or 22 g control powder.

Main outcome measures

Resting brachial systolic and diastolic blood pressures were evaluated and arterial stiffness was assessed using carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity. C-reactive protein, nitric oxide, and superoxide dismutase were measured at baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks.

Statistical analyses performed

Statistical analysis was performed using a split plot model of repeated measures analysis of variance.

Results

After 8 weeks, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure (131±17 mm Hg [P<0.05] and 75±9 mm Hg [P<0.01], respectively) and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (1,401±122 cm/second; P<0.01) were significantly lower than baseline levels (138±14 mm Hg, 80±7 mm Hg, and 1,498±179 cm/second, respectively), with significant (P<0.05) group×time interactions in the blueberry powder group, whereas there were no changes in the group receiving the control powder. Nitric oxide levels were greater (15.35±11.16 μmol/L; P<0.01) in the blueberry powder group at 8 weeks compared with baseline values (9.11±7.95 μmol/L), whereas there were no changes in the control group.

Conclusions

Daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which may be due, in part, to increased nitric oxide production.

 YEAR: 2015

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