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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb;87(2):323-31.

Favorable effects of berry consumption on platelet function, blood pressure, and HDL cholesterol.

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Biomarker Laboratory, Department of Health and Functional Capacity, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.



Berries are a particularly rich source of polyphenols. They also contain other bioactive substances, such as vitamin C. Previous studies indicated that the consumption of polyphenol-rich foods (eg, cocoa, tea, and red wine) may induce beneficial changes in pathways related to cardiovascular health. Whether the consumption of berries has similar effects is unknown.


We aimed to investigate the effects of berry consumption on hemostatic function, serum lipids, and blood pressure (BP).


Middle-aged unmedicated subjects (n = 72) with cardiovascular risk factors consumed moderate amounts of berry or control products for 8 wk in a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled intervention trial.


Berry consumption inhibited platelet function as measured with a platelet function analyzer (using collagen and ADP as platelet activator) [changes: 11% and -1.4% in the berry and control groups, respectively; P = 0.018, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA)]. Plasma biomarkers of platelet activation, coagulation, and fibrinolysis did not change during the intervention. Serum HDL-cholesterol concentrations increased significantly more (P = 0.006, ANCOVA) in the berry than in the control group (5.2% and 0.6%, respectively), but total cholesterol and triacylglycerol remained unchanged. Systolic BP decreased significantly (P = 0.050, ANCOVA); the decrease mostly occurred in subjects with high baseline BP (7.3 mm Hg in highest tertile; P = 0.024, ANCOVA). Polyphenol and vitamin C concentrations in plasma increased, whereas other nutritional biomarkers (ie, folate, tocopherols, sodium, and potassium) were unaffected.


The consumption of moderate amounts of berries resulted in favorable changes in platelet function, HDL cholesterol, and BP. The results indicate that regular consumption of berries may play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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