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Blueberries can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women with high blood pressure

Sarah Johnson (second from left) presents the results of a study at an international conference in London that showed blueberries may reduce the risk of heart disease for women with high blood pressure. Also photos of Nancy Ghanem (left), Emily Woolf and Sylvia Lee (right). Credit: Colorado State University

Consumption of blueberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in women who have had high blood pressure, according to new research by Colorado State University Sarah Ardanuy Johnson.

Consumption of 22 grams of dry blueberry powder (equivalent to about 1 cup of fresh blueberries) mixed with water consumed daily for 12 weeks improves the function of the lining of the blood vessels (called endothelium), according to preliminary research of research presented by Johnson in April at the International Conference on Polyphenols and Health in London. It was my first invitation to an international conference.

“We’ve made progress in it endothelial function which is important for human health, because endothelial dysfunction is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerotic heart disease, ”Johnson said. oxidative stress in the flesh. “

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body and can damage cells and tissues, which in turn promotes it. endothelial dysfunction and the development of heart disease.

“Previous studies have shown that polyphenols and foods rich in polyphenol such as blueberries can reduce stress,” Johnson said. “To note the direct link between reductions in oxidative stress and improvements in endothelial function in humans is interesting and sheds light on how blueberries improve heart health.”

Details

They performed randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, mobile clinical trials in 43-isrogen deficiency. women who follow menopause ages 45-65 with high blood pressure or stage 1-high blood pressure. Johnson’s research team used dried blueberries to retain polyphenols as much as possible, and to allow the study to be double-blind, meaning that the researchers or study participants did not know whether they were getting blueberry or placebo. .

The London Conference features world-renowned scientists whose research follows. “The people who made the event, the people who attended, those who attended the venue, these are the people whose work I have read regularly since I was a graduate student.” Johnson said. “I have published their papers, so it is good. I have not submitted an abstract for this. They have invited me to come.”

Johnson, a professor and director of the Center for Active Nutrition & Human Health in the Department of Nutrition and Nutrition, said the study will soon be in print and Ph.D. student, Emily Woolf, will present the results at the American Public Feeding Conference in June, which will also be part of her reading.

Johnson has done extensive research on the health benefits of blueberries and other foods such as aronia berries, microgreens, and beetroot juice.

“We do not fully understand health benefits and how they interact with the human body, “said Johnson of blueberries,” but we know they are very important to human health. “

Collaboration on the study of the gut microbiome

Johnson, assistant professor Tiffany Weir and incoming FSHN department head Chris Gentile (joint research researchers on the USDA grant), and co-author Ana Rodriguez-Mateos of London College are investigating the role played by the intestinal microbiome to assess the protective effect of the heart and blood vessels. of blueberries and polyphenols.

Sylvia Lee, a graduate student of Johnson and a Ph.D. candidate, her studies on this subject. The Vice President of the Bureau of Investigation appointed Lee and a fellow student.

Johnson said the group noted an increase in blood metabolites that produce the metabolism of anthocyanins (polyphenols found in blueberries that give them blue color) and the metabolism of polyphenols by the intestinal microbiome. She said researchers could link these results to the gut microbiome and the research would continue in the USDA grant.

Dark fruits are useful

Johnson said the main course to take is that there are benefits to eating blueberries regularly to help improve cardiovascular health. She says foods rich in phytochemicals include many fruits and vegetables, cocoa, chocolate, tea, nuts, legumes, cereals, and spices. But dark fruits at the top of the list.

“Berries, you know, people like them. They’re eaten a lot,” Johnson said. “And this is one of the reasons why I am interested in studying them as a signature food for improvement human health– something that actually people will eat.

“I am very grateful to my collaborators for their expertise and research support, and to all the seniors and current students in Nutrition & Humanities for making this research possible,” Johnson said. “Intermediate group science is critical to advancing research and addressing scientific challenges such as heart disease.”


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