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Food Funct. 2014 Dec;5(12):3107-16. doi: 10.1039/c4fo00570h.

A single serving of blueberry (V. corymbosum) modulates peripheral arterial dysfunction induced by acute cigarette smoking in young volunteers: a randomized-controlled trial.

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Università degli Studi di Milano, Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, Division of Human Nutrition, Milano, Italy.


Cigarette smoking causes oxidative stress, hypertension and endothelial dysfunction. Polyphenol-rich foods may prevent these conditions. We investigated the effect of a single serving of fresh-frozen blueberry intake on peripheral arterial function and arterial stiffness in young smokers. Sixteen male smokers were recruited for a 3-armed randomized-controlled study with the following experimental conditions: smoking treatment (one cigarette); blueberry treatment (300 g of blueberry) + smoking; control treatment (300 mL of water with sugar) + smoking. Each treatment was separated by one week of wash-out period. The blood pressure, heart rate, peripheral arterial function (reactive hyperemia and Framingham reactive hyperemia), and arterial stiffness (digital augmentation index, digital augmentation index normalized for a heart rate of 75 bpm) were measured before and 20 min after smoking with Endo-PAT2000. Smoking impaired the blood pressure, heart rate and peripheral arterial function, but did not affect the arterial stiffness. Blueberry consumption counteracted the impairment of the reactive hyperemia index induced by smoking (-4.4 ± 0.8% blueberry treatment vs. -22.0 ± 1.1% smoking treatment, p < 0.01) and Framingham reactive hyperemia (+28.3 ± 19.2% blueberry treatment vs. -42.8 ± 20.0% smoking treatment, p < 0.0001), and the increase of systolic blood pressure (+8.4 ± 0.02% blueberry treatment vs. +13.1 ± 0.02% smoking treatment, mmHg, p < 0.05) after cigarette smoking. No effect was observed for arterial stiffness and other vital signs. In conclusion, data obtained suggest a protective role of blueberry on reactive hyperemia, Framingham reactive hyperemia, and systolic blood pressure in subjects exposed to smoke of one cigarette. Future studies are necessary to elucidate the mechanisms involved.

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