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publicado em 17/01/2011 às 02h00:00
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Bioactive compounds in blueberry reduce high blood pressure

People who consume at least a portion of fruit per week reduces the risk of developing hypertension by 10%

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Compounds in blueberries may protect against high blood pressure, according to new research from the University of East Anglia and the University of Harvard. New studies show that the bioactive compounds found in fruit, called anthocyanins offer protection against hypertension. Compared with those who do not eat blueberries, those who eat at least one serving a week reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 10%.

Anthocyanins belong to the family of bioactive compounds called flavonoids and are found in large amounts in red currant, raspberry, orange juice and eggplant, blueberries and blood. Other flavonoids are found in many fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs.

The team studied 134,000 women and 47,000 men over a period of 14 years. None of the participants had hypertension at baseline. Subjects were asked to fill out health questionnaires every two years, and their dietary intake was assessed every four years. The incidence of newly diagnosed hypertension during the 14 years was then linked to the consumption of several different flavonoids.

During the study, 35,000 participants developed hypertension. Information on the diet described the tea as the major contributor of flavonoids, with apples, orange juice, blueberries, red wine, strawberries and also providing significant quantities.

When the researchers examined the relationship between subclasses of flavonoids and subjects with hypertension, they found that participants who consumed higher amounts of anthocyanins were 8% less likely to be diagnosed with hypertension than those who consumed lesser amounts. The effect was even stronger in participants with less than 60 years of age.

The effect was stronger for the consumption of blueberries and not for consumption of strawberries. Compared with people who did not eat blueberries, those who eat at least one serving of fruit per week were 10% less likely to become hypertensive.

"Our results are encouraging and suggest that dietary intake of anthocyanins may help prevent hypertension," said study author Aedin Cassidy.

The next stage of the research will be to conduct randomized clinical trials with different dietary sources of anthocyanins to define the dose and the ideal source for the prevention of hypertension.

The researchers believe that this will enable the development of public health recommendations targeted on reducing blood pressure.


   Palavras-chave:   Blueberry    Hypertension    Anthocyanins    Aedin Cassidy    University of East Anglia   
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