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J Hum Hypertens. 2012 Jun;26(6):396-404. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2011.41. Epub 2011 May 5.

Effects of anthocyanins on blood pressure and stress reactivity: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover study.

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Section of Cardiovascular and Renal Research, Oslo University Hospital, Norway.


High intakes of flavonoids are associated with reduced cardiovascular risk, and flavonoids such as cocoa and soy protein isolate have shown beneficial effects on blood pressure (BP). Anthocyanins constitute a flavonoid subgroup consumed in regular diets, but few studies have assessed the antihypertensive potential of anthocyanins. We aimed to assess whether high concentrations of relatively pure anthocyanins reduce BP and alter cardiovascular and catecholamine reactivity to stress. A total of 31 healthy men between 35-51 years of age with screening BP >140/90 mm Hg, not on antihypertensive or lipid-lowering medication, were randomised in a double-blind crossover study to placebo versus 320-mg anthoycanins twice daily. Treatment duration was 4 weeks, with a 4-week washout. Sitting and supine BP measurements, ambulatory BP recording and stress reactivity were assessed and analyzed by a paired sample t-test. In all, 27 patients completed all visits. Sitting systolic BP (primary endpoint) was 133 mm Hg after placebo versus 135 mm Hg after anthocyanin treatment (P=0.25). Anthocyanins did neither affect semiautomatic oscillometric BP measurements in the sitting or supine position nor 24-h ambulatory BP. No significant differences in stress reactivity were found across treatment periods. Overall, we conclude that high concentrations of these relatively pure anthocyanins do not reduce BP in healthy men with a high normal BP.

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