A new study has found that consuming blueberry powder daily lowers blood pressure in postmenopausal women. Published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the study enrolled 48 postmenopausal women with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension (high blood pressure). The women consumed 22 grams of blueberry powder, or a placebo, daily for eight weeks—22 grams of blueberry powder is equivalent to about 1 cup of fresh blueberries. Here’s what the researchers discovered at the end of the trial:
The women who took the blueberry powder supplement experienced significant reductions in blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Systolic blood pressure decreased by about 5.1%, and diastolic blood pressure decreased by about 6.3%.
Nitric oxide production increased in the blueberry powder group. This increase could explain the improvement in arterial stiffness, since nitric oxide is known to relax the walls of blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
The effect of blueberry powder was moderate compared to blood pressure medications; nevertheless, the researchers note that consuming more blueberries, per serving or for longer periods of time, could produce an even greater effect. The study was supported by the US Highbush Blueberry Council and the US Department of Agriculture.
Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics