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

Sarah A. Johnson, Arturo Figueroa, Negin Navaei, Alexei Wong, Roy Kalfon, Lauren T. Ormsbee, Rafaela G. Feresin, Marcus L. Elam, Shirin Hooshmand, Mark E. Payton, Bahram H. Arjmandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Scopus citations

Abstract

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. Invivo 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 bloodpressure 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-377
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume115
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • Blueberries
  • Flavonoids
  • Nitric oxide
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Vasodilation

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