Published in Applied Research
Immune and cardiovascular benefits from Blueberry powder
Evidence suggests that berries contain bioactive compounds which reduce certain cancers and hypertension.
Researchers from the Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina (USA) propose that daily blueberry consumption would increase natural killer cells and plasma redox capacity and reduce blood pressure, augmentation index, central pulse wave velocity, and aortic systolic pressures. The study was published on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Twenty five men and postmenopausal women aged 18-50 were recruited and randomized to blueberry (BB) (n=13) or placebo groups (PL) (n=12). Participants were provided with blueberry (equivalent to 250g berries) or placebo powders each day for six weeks. Blood pressure, vascular performance testing, and blood samples were taken at baseline (pre-supplementation).
Participants returned after six weeks and repeated all procedures. Pre- to post- supplementation comparisons for the main effects of treatment, time, and treatment-time interaction were made using a 2 (treatment) x 2 (times) repeated measures ANOVA for all vascular measures, redox status, and NK cell counts. Anthropometric measures were compared using t-tests. Body mass, composition, and overall blood pressures were not affected in either group.
Overall, augmentation index and aortic systolic pressures were decreased in BB (treatment effect: p=0.024 and p=0.046, respectively). Plasma redox was not affected. Absolute natural killer cells were increased in BB (time, p=0.001 and interaction, p=0.012). Subjects (n=9) with pre-hypertensive pressures (>120/80 mmHg, respectively) were examined as a subset using t-tests and exhibited significant reductions in diastolic pressure (p=0.038) from pre to post-supplementation in BB.
Researchers conclude that blueberry ingestion for six weeks increases natural killer cells and reduces augmentation index, aortic systolic pressure, and diastolic pressures in sedentary males and females.

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