In a study from King’s College London, scientists found daily eating cranberries for one-month improved heart function in healthy men.
Low consumption of fruits and vegetables is one of the top modifiable risk factors associated with a higher incidence of heart disease worldwide.
Growing evidence continues to link the polyphenols from berries with heart health benefits.
Cranberries are rich in unique proanthocyanidins that have distinct properties compared to polyphenols found in other fruits.
In the study, researchers explored whole cranberry freeze-dried powder, equivalent to 100g of fresh cranberries, and its impact on cardiovascular health.
They examined 45 healthy men who consumed whole cranberry powder equivalent to 100g of fresh cranberries per day (9 g powder) or a placebo for one month.
Those eating cranberry had a big improvement in flow-mediated dilation (FMD), which signals improvement of heart and blood vessel function.
FMD is considered a sensitive biomarker of cardiovascular disease risk and measures how blood vessels widen when blood flow increases.
The team found big improvements in FMD two hours after first consumption and after one month of daily consumption showing both immediate and chronic benefits.
In addition, metabolites were also identified and predicted the positive effects seen in FMD.
The results showed that eating cranberries as part of a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel function.
The team says the increases in polyphenols and metabolites in the bloodstream and the related improvements in flow-mediated dilation after cranberry eating emphasize the important role cranberries may play in heart disease prevention.
The fact that these improvements in heart health were seen with a number of cranberries that can be reasonably consumed daily makes cranberry an important fruit in the prevention of heart disease.
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The was conducted by Dr. Ana Rodriguez-Mateos et al and published in Food & Function.
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