A cup of blueberries a day to keep the doctor away! Eating 150g of the fruit a day & # 39; reduces the risk of heart disease by around 15% & # 39;
- Experts tested the effects of eating blueberries daily on 138 overweight adults
- Those who ate 150 g of them had more blood flow and fewer stiff arteries
- Researchers calculated that this would reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 15%
Eating a cup of blueberries a day tears your risk of developing heart disease, according to research.
Scientists found overweight adults who consumed 150 g of the fruit daily, increased blood flow and fewer stiff arteries.
Researchers calculated that this would reduce their risk of heart disease – & # 39; the world's leading killer – by 12 to 15 percent.
Scientists found overweight adults who consumed 150 g of the fruit daily, increased blood flow and fewer stiff arteries
Scientists from the University of East Anglia daily tested the effects of eating blueberries on 138 overweight and obese adults.
They were all between 50 and 75 years old and had metabolic syndrome, the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
Figures suggest that about a third of adults in Western countries have the syndrome, which increases the risk of developing heart disease.
All participants received 150 g or 75 g portion size of freeze-dried blueberries, or asked to consume purple-colored placebo.
WHAT IS METABOLIC SYNDROME?
Cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS) or metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
It gives you a greater risk of getting coronary heart disease, stroke and other disorders that affect blood vessels.
Diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity in themselves can damage your blood vessels, but having all three together is particularly dangerous.
They are very common conditions that are all related, which explains why metabolic syndrome affects an estimated one in four adults in the UK.
If you have three or more of the following symptoms, you are considered to have the syndrome:
- a waist circumference of 94 cm (37 inch) or more for European men, or 90 cm (35.5 inch) or more for South Asian men
- a waist circumference of 80 cm (31.5 inches) or more in European and South Asian women
- high triglyceride levels (fat in the blood) and low levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol) in the blood, which can lead to atherosclerosis (where arteries are blocked by fats such as cholesterol)
- high blood pressure that is consistently 140/90 mmHg or higher
- an inability to control blood sugar levels (insulin resistance)
- an increased risk of developing blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- a tendency to inflammation (irritation and swelling of body tissue)
The results of the six-month study, considered the longest of its kind, were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dr. Peter Curtis, co-author of the study, said: "We found that eating one cup of blueberries a day resulted in continued improvements in vascular function and arterial stiffness."
He added that this & # 39; makes enough difference to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 12 to 15 percent & # 39 ;.
Dr. Curtis said: & # 39; The simple and feasible message is to consume a cup of blueberries daily to improve cardiovascular health.
& # 39; Unexpectedly, we found no benefit from a smaller intake of 75 blueberries (half a cup) of blueberries in this risk group.
& # 39; Higher daily intakes may be needed for heart health benefits in populations of obese, at-risk groups, compared to the general population. & # 39;
Lead author Professor Aedin Cassidy said: & Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes. & # 39;
He said earlier studies have shown that people who regularly eat blueberries have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
& # 39; This is perhaps because blueberries contain many natural compounds called anthocyanins, & # 39 ;, Professor Cassidy added.
The compounds are responsible for the red and blue color in fruit. Other studies have shown that they can improve some markers of heart disease.
Researchers from the universities of Harvard, Cambridge, Southampton and Surrey have also chosen the results.
It received funding from the Biotechnology and Bioscience Research Council, which receives funding from the UK government.
And the American Highbush Blueberry Council, consisting of blueberry farmers, processors and importers, also donated to the research.
Figures suggest that around 7.4 million people with cardiovascular disease live in the UK.
The American Heart Association says that nearly half of all adults in the US have a form of heart disease.
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