Blueberry diets delay the onset of hypertension and ...

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Title Blueberry diets delay the onset of hypertension and reduce insulin resistance in spontaneously hypertensive stroke prone rats
Author(s) Marva I. Sweeney-Nixon, K. Shaughnessy, Katherine T. Gottschall-Pass
Journal FASAB Journal
Date 2007
Volume 21
Issue 6
Start page A1092
Abstract Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of disability and death in North America. Thus, strategies (e.g. diet modification, drugs) to manage hypertension are essential. Lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium) are rich in polyphenolic antioxidants which are beneficial to stroke, and may have vasorelaxation effects. We fed spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rats (SHrSP) and control rats (CON) either control diet or a diet containing 3% freeze-dried blueberry extract for 8 wks, to determine effects of blueberry diets on systolic blood pressure (BP). BP increased in both SHrSP groups over 8 wks. However BP in SHrSP on control diets was significantly higher than in CON by wk 4 (p=0.016), while BP in SHrSP consuming blueberries was not significantly elevated relative to CON until wk 7 (p=0.001). Maximum BP was 216 ± 11 mmHg (wk 7), and 178 ± 15 mmHg (wk 8) in SHrSP consuming control and blueberry diets respectively. At wk 6, BP of SHrSP on blueberry diet was 30% lower (p=0.002) than in SHrSP on control diet. In a separate group of SHrSP fed blueberries for 6 wks, a 48% lower glucose/insulin ratio was seen compared to rats on control diet (P=0.08, n=3). These results indicate that a 3% blueberry diet is capable of delaying the onset and reducing the magnitude of hypertension, and may reduce insulin resistance in SHrSP.

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