Blueberries and cranberries are said to have various positive effects on the cardiovascular system and are also believed to have an effect against high blood pressure. But can berries actually lower blood pressure?
In a recent review, a Brazilian research team examined the effects of blueberry and cranberry supplementation on blood pressure in individuals with cardiometabolic diseases. The results are published in the specialist magazine “Phytotherapy Research”.
Diet for high blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, diet can make a significant contribution to lowering blood pressure. For example, according to a recently published study, avoiding salt can lower blood pressure as much as medication. The so-called DASH diet was also developed specifically as a form of nutrition to combat high blood pressure.
Some foods are also said to have a particularly beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, including blueberries and cranberries. According to the Brazilian research team, there are also a relatively large number of randomized clinical studies on these berries that look at their effects on blood pressure.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis, the team examined the existing studies on the two berries and high blood pressure and ultimately subjected 17 research papers to a detailed evaluation.
No clear effect detectable
The researchers evaluated the effect of blueberry and cranberry supplementation (alone and in combination) on systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, but were only able to find a significant reduction in blood pressure from blueberry and/or cranberry supplementation in two studies.
The pooled results of all research papers taken into account showed no statistically significant reduction in blood pressure (-0.81 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure and -0.15 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure) through blueberries and/or cranberries, according to the disappointing results of the experts.
However, since individual previous studies have suggested that blueberries in particular can be used as natural remedies for lowering blood pressure, further high-quality research now appears to be necessary to check their clinical effectiveness. (fp)