TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Postmenopausal women who ate freeze dried blueberry powder for eight weeks showed significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, according to a study conducted at Florida State University.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was published online in the January edition of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
About 80 million people in the United States have hypertension, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, so any intervention that can lower blood pressure can potentially save lives. While hypertension can occur in both sexes, it is especially prevalent in postmenopausal women.
Therefore FSU researchers searching for dietary supplements that show promise in lowering blood pressure examined 48 postmenopausal women with pre- and stage-1 hypertension on the effects of daily blueberry consumption over eight weeks on blood pressure and arterial stiffness.
After the eight-week period, the women’s blood pressure was significantly lower than those women who were in the control group that received a placebo powder. The control group’s blood pressure baselines remained the same throughout the study.
The researchers concluded that daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness.
Dr. Anne Williams, ND, of Rochat Holistic Health in New York said that “Though this study was small, it shows promise in food-based research, which we need more of in medicine.
“We need to encourage patients to eat whole foods and use research to provide the rationale for doing so,” she said.