(ORDO NEWS) — A new clinical study found that eating cranberries daily for a month improved cardiovascular health in healthy men.
The new study, published today in the journal Food & Function, followed 45 healthy men who consumed a whole cranberry powder equivalent to 100 grams of fresh cranberries per day (9 grams of powder) or a placebo for a month.
Those who consumed cranberries experienced a significant improvement in flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), indicating improved heart and blood vessel function.
FMD is considered a sensitive biomarker for cardiovascular disease risk and measures how blood vessels dilate when blood flow increases.
The increase in blood polyphenols and metabolites and the corresponding improvement in flow-mediated vasodilation following cranberry consumption highlights the important role of cranberries in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
The fact that these improvements in cardiovascular health have been observed with a reasonable amount of cranberries that can be consumed daily makes cranberries an important fruit in cardiovascular disease prevention for the general population.
Low fruit and vegetable intake is one of the major modifiable risk factors associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease worldwide.
A growing body of evidence continues to link polyphenols from berries to heart health benefits. Cranberries are rich in unique proanthocyanidins, which have special properties compared to the polyphenols found in other fruits.
This study examined whole freeze dried cranberry powder, equivalent to 100 g of fresh cranberries, and its effect on cardiovascular health.
The results showed that eating cranberries as part of a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving blood vessel function.
An initial pilot study was conducted in five healthy young men to confirm the biological activity of whole cranberry freeze dried powder. A pilot study showed that eating cranberries increased FMD and confirmed the dosage.
The main study was conducted according to the gold standard and included 45 healthy men who consumed two packets of freeze-dried whole cranberry powder, equivalent to 100 g of fresh cranberries, or placebo daily for a month.
The study showed a significant improvement in FMD scores two hours after first use and after a month of daily use, suggesting both immediate and chronic benefits.
In addition, metabolites were identified that predicted the positive effect seen in FMD. These results suggest that cranberries may play an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health and good blood vessel function.
Dr Christian Heiss, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Surrey and co-author of the study, said: “Our results provide strong evidence that cranberries can significantly affect vascular health, even in people at low cardiovascular risk.
This study also shows that specific metabolites present in the blood following cranberry consumption are associated with beneficial effects.”
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