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HASKAP CARDIO-PROTECT: ANTHOCYANIN & HEART HEALTH

Anthocyanins are associated with reducing the risk of developing chronic cardiac diseases such as high blood pressure and heart attacks.

Lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity, managing stress, stopping smoking and eating a healthier diet can prevent, treat and even sometimes reverse heart and circulatory diseases. There is growing evidence to suggest a diet containing anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of developing chronic cardiac diseases, such as high blood pressure and heart attacks.

Large population studies have shown that a higher anthocyanin diet was associated with:

  • 32% reduction in the risk of suffering heart attacks in young and middle-aged
  • 14% reduction in risk of developing non-fatal heart attacks in men
  • 8-12% reduction in the risk of developing high blood pressure

In addition, a major review published in 2017 concluded that eating a diet rich in anthocyanins was associated with a reduced risk of dying from all causes, and specifically from heart and circulatory diseases.

A 2019 study from King’s College London demonstrated that anthocyanins have a major role to play in how blood vessels in our bodies function, helping to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.

THE HASKAP RESEARCH

The first pilot clinical study on Haskap berries was published by a team from the University of Reading in the European Journal of Nutrition, December 2018: A pilot dose–response study of the acute effects of Haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea L.) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older.

The study had a double-blind crossover design and looked at the acute effects of three Haskap berry doses and a sugar matched placebo on 20 older adults, age 62-81 years. Results showed improvements in cognition (word recall and recognition i.e. episodic memory effects) and diastolic blood pressure, with higher doses appearing more effective. The researchers wrote that the positive blood pressure result was probably caused by dilation of blood vessels, as observed in previous anthocyanin research.

References:

High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women. Cassidy A, Mukamal KJ, Liu L, Franz M, Eliassen AH, Rimm EB. Circulation. 2013 Jan 15;127(2):188-96

Habitual intake of anthocyanins and flavanones and risk of cardiovascular disease in men. Cassidy A, Bertoia M, Chiuve S, Flint A, Forman J, Rimm EB. Am J Clin Nutr 2016;104:587–94.

Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Cassidy A, O’Reilly ÉJ, Kay C, Sampson L, Franz M, Forman JP, Curhan G, Rimm EB.Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):338-47.

Dietary Flavonoid and Lignan Intake and Mortality in Prospective Cohort Studies: Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis. Grosso, Agnieszka Micek, Justyna Godos, Andrzej Pajak, Salvatore Sciacca, Fabio Galvano, Edward L. Giovannucci. American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 185, Issue 12, 15 June 2017, Pages 1304–1316, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kww207

Circulating Anthocyanin Metabolites Mediate Vascular Benefits of Blueberries: Insights From Randomized Controlled Trials, Metabolomics, and Nutrigenomics. Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, Geoffrey Istas, Lisa Boschek, Rodrigo P Feliciano, Charlotte E Mills, Céline Boby, Sergio Gomez-Alonso, Dragan Milenkovic, Christian Heiss, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 74, Issue 7, July 2019, Pages 967–976, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glz047

A pilot dose–response study of the acute effects of haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea L.) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older adults. Bell, L. & Williams, C.M. Eur J Nutr (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1877-9

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