According to a new British study conducted at the University of East Anglia, consuming 150 grams of blueberries a day may reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
The study, which received funding from the American Highbush Blueberry Council and was published in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition, attempts to determine whether blueberries have an effect on metabolic syndrome, a set of metabolic problems that increase the risk of heart disease, most commonly occurring as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, low levels of good cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.
According to researchers, "previous studies have shown that people who regularly eat blueberries have a reduced risk of developing diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This may be due to the fact that blueberries are high in natural compounds called anthocyanins, which are flavonoids responsible for the red and blue color of the fruit. "
For six months, researchers studied the effects of eating blueberries each day in 138 overweight and obese patients with metabolic syndrome aged 50 to 75 years.
The experiment compares the benefits of consuming 150 grams of blueberries a day against 75 grams per serving. The participants ate frozen dried blueberries, and an alternative with a purple color of food colors and artificial flavors was added to the placebo group.
15% reduction in risk
"We found that eating one cup of blueberries a day leads to permanent improvements in vascular function and arterial rigidity – enough to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease between 12 and 15%," says study co-author Dr. Peter Curtis.
He added, "We have not found any benefit from a lower daily intake of blueberries than 75 grams in half of this risk group. Higher daily amounts may be necessary for heart health in obese, at risk groups, compared to the general population. "- AFP