Phytochemicals that make blueberries blue in color, anthocyanins, can improve cardiovascular health, a new study has found. This study is being led by Ana Rodriguez-Mateos and has been published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A. Hypertension shows no visible symptoms and affects 1 in 3 adults approximately in America. It eventually leads to kidney failure, stroke and heart disease by straining the cardiovascular system. NIH recommends people suffering from high BP to keep their condition in check by maintaining healthy weights, not smoking, exercising and eating cautiously and healthfully. 16 foods so far including berries, fish, pulses, spinach and broccoli have been found to improve cardiovascular health because of the antioxidant polyphenols they contain.
20 participants in perfect health were recruited for the study. They were divided into 2 groups. While one group was given a daily drink which consisted of 200g of blueberries, the other group was given a control drink. To know the impact of blueberries, flow-mediated dilation of brachial arteries and blood pressure of the participants of the study were measured. FMD indicates state of cardiovascular health by measuring widening of brachial artery when blood flows at higher rates. The study also observed difference between the blueberry drinks and the control drinks containing concentrations of vitamins, minerals or fiber same as those in blueberries or purified anthocyanins drinks. The benefits of blueberries were noticed merely 2 hours after consumption. Researchers saw that purified anthocyanins exerted improved dose-dependent endothelial function.
Endothelium is a kind of membrane inside blood vessels and heart that controls contraction and dilation of arteries, blood clotting and blood pressure. Researchers stated that one month of consuming 200g of blueberries daily can reduce blood pressure by 5 mm Hg (5 millimeters of Mercury) on an average, which is usually achieved through medication. Control drinks on the other hand didn’t prove to be as efficient. They explained that anthocyanins circulate in blood as phenolic acid metabolites. Rodriguez-Mateos said that consuming blueberries regularly can lessen threat of cardiovascular illness by 20%.