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Blueberries may guard against high blood pressure

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Bioactive compounds in blueberries known as anthocyanins may offer protection against hypertension, according to a new study.

The finding suggests those who eat at least one serving of blueberries a week reduce their risk of developing hypertension by up to 10 percent.

Blueberries contain a plentiful amount of anthocyanins -- a bioactive family of compounds called flavonoids, also found in blackcurrants, strawberries, raspberries, aubergines and blood oranges.

The study followed 134,000 women and 47,000 men over a period of 14 years. A total of 35,000 developed high blood pressure in that time. Patients who consumed the most blueberries and strawberries (the primary sources of anthocyanins in the U.S.) were eight percent less likely to be diagnosed with hypertension than those who ate the least amounts of these fruits. The effect was more prevalent in patients under 60 and more strongly associated with blueberries than with strawberries.

Further research will include randomized trials with different dietary sources of anthocyanins to determine optimal dosages for hypertension prevention.

One in three U.S. adults will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime. The cardiovascular disorder can cause stroke and heart attack and is a known precursor to heart disease.

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Review Date: 
January 18, 2011
Last Updated:
January 19, 2011