Wild blueberries may lower hypertension, inflammation risks

Fruits, such as blueberries, taste great and have a number of positive benefits over processed snacks. (WTOP/Ed Kelleher)

WASHINGTON – A new study adds to the growing body of evidence that blueberries do a body good.

A study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism indicates that a regular diet of wild blueberries may prevent or lower risk factors associated with developing high blood pressure and diabetes, even in the obese.

The study involved obese Zucker rats that are widely used as models of human metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by obesity, hypertension, inflammation, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction.

The results showed the berries helped reduce inflammation and balance lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides.

The berry regimen also helped regulate and improve the balance between relaxing and constricting factors in the rats’ aorta, according to the study.

Researchers say the human equivalent of the rats’ beneficial berry consumption would be eating two cups of wild blueberries a day for eight weeks.

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