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New Research Demonstrates that Wild Blueberries May Support Cardiovascular Health
Date:5/7/2009

PORTLAND, Maine, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- New research shows that Wild Blueberries may have a cardio-protective effect, improving vascular function and decreasing the vulnerability of blood vessels to oxidative stress. (Sources: Journal of Medicinal Food, 2009; Feb; 12(1): 21-8 and Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2009, Jan 19) The studies contribute to a growing body of research supporting the potential protective effect of Wild Blueberries in the diet on cellular signaling within the vascular environment. These findings suggest that the consumption of Wild Blueberries could help regulate blood pressure and combat atherosclerosis.

"Our studies confirm our hypothesis that Wild Blueberry-enriched diets significantly diminish arterial constriction in animal models by relaxing blood vessels, which may have implications on blood pressure regulation in both animal models with normal blood pressure and ones with high blood pressure. We also discovered that Wild Blueberries operate differently in the above animal models, but the end result is to aid in maintenance of a functional endothelium which may help prevent vascular complications associated with hypertension," said Dr. Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Nutrition and lead researcher from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Maine, Orono.

According to Dr. Klimis-Zacas, controlling oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in the vascular environment is key to cardiovascular health. "We continue to focus our research on the role of diet in disease prevention. Our work with animals fed a diet of whole fruit, like Wild Blueberries, takes research one-step further beyond an examination of fruit extracts and their impact on cell cultures. If we can control oxidative stress and inflammation through diet, we could see a protective cardiovascular benefit. Recently, we have also come to appreciate that the
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SOURCE Wild Blueberry Association of North America
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