UMaine researcher finds wild blueberries may fight high blood pressure

Just-raked baskets of blueberries before they went through the winnowing machine to remove leaves and grass at Spruce Mountain Blueberries in Rockport last July. (Bangor Daily News/File)
Just-raked baskets of blueberries before they went through the winnowing machine to remove leaves and grass at Spruce Mountain Blueberries in Rockport last July. (Bangor Daily News/File)
Posted Nov. 26, 2010, at 6:36 a.m.

Research by UMaine professor of clinical nutrition Dorothy Klimis-Zacas and colleagues about the positive health effects wild blueberries have had when fed to hypertensive laboratory rats was cited in an article Nov. 18 on the NutraIngredients-USA.com website, a daily online health and nutrition news service.

The article discusses findings of research previously published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The research suggests that supplementing the diet with antioxidant-rich wild blueberries could also benefit human beings with high blood pressure.

Among the findings in the study: “Our data provide clear evidence that the 8 week dietary treatment with 8 percent wild blueberry in the adult [hypertensive rat] with established endothelial dysfunction results in a significant moderation of the increased aortic vascular tone,” wrote the researchers, which includes scientists from Northwestern University and the University of Louisville.

According to NutraIngredients-USA.com, “The berries are said to have a number of positive health effects, including cholesterol reduction, and prevention against some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”

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