"Berry" Good News for Reducing BP, Arterial Stiffness

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Hypertension, Arterial Stiffness
Hypertension, Arterial Stiffness

(HealthDay News) — For postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension, daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, according to a study published online January 7 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Sarah A. Johnson, PhD, RD, from Florida State University in Tallahassee, and colleagues conducted an eight-week randomized, placebo controlled trial involving 48 postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension. Participants were randomized to receive 22g freeze-dried blueberry powder or control powder for eight weeks.

The researchers found that 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," the authors write.

The study was funded by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council/U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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