Nutr Rev. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 March 31.
Published in final edited form as: Nutr Rev. 2010 March ; 68(3): 168–177. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00273.x.
NIH-PA Author Manuscript NIH-PA Author Manuscript NIH-PA Author Manuscript
Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health
Arpita Basu, Department of Nutritional Sciences, 301Human Environmental Sciences, Oklahoma State University (OSU), Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA. Michael Rhone, and Department of Nutritional Sciences, 301 Human Environmental Sciences, Oklahoma State University (OSU), Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA. Timothy J Lyons Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.
Berries area good source of polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, micronutrients, and fiber. In epidemiological and clinical studies, these constituents have been associated with improved cardiovascular risk profiles. Human intervention studies using chokeberries, cranberries, blueberries, and strawberries (either fresh, or as juice, or freeze-dried), or purified anthocyanin extracts have demonstratedsignificant improvements in LDL oxidation, lipid peroxidation, total plasma antioxidant capacity, dyslipidemia, and glucose metabolism. Benefits were seen in healthy subjects and in those with existing metabolic risk factors. Underlying mechanisms for these beneficial effects are believed to include upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, decreased activities of carbohydrate digestiveenzymes, decreased oxidative stress, and inhibition of inflammatory gene expression and foam cell formation. Though limited, these data support the recommendation of berries as an essential fruit group in a heart-healthy diet.
Keywords anthocyanins; berries; inflammation; lipid peroxidation; nitric oxide
Consumption of fruits and vegetables has been correlated with decreased risks ofcardiovascular disease (CVD). National health objectives reflected in Healthy People 2010 advocate increasing fruit consumption by more than 75% or to at least two servings per day in persons 2 years of age and older.1 Currently, only 32% of adults and 13% of adolescents meet this goal of fruit intake.2,3 Between the years 2000 and 2020 overall fruit consumption in the United States isanticipated to grow by 24–27%. This increase is attributed in part to an increase in per capita consumption, and in part to a predicted increase in the total consumers in the US market.4
© 2010 International Life Sciences Institute Correspondence: A Basu, Nutritional Sciences, 301 Human Environmental Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-6141, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone:+1-405-744-4437, Fax: +1-405-744-1357. Declaration of interest. Arpita Basu has received past and present support from US Highbush Blueberry Council, the Cranberry Institute, and the California Strawberry Commission for clinical trials. The content of this review does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of these agencies.
Basu et al.
The consumption of berry fruits and theircontribution to improving cardiovascular health is a subject of considerable interest. The commonly consumed berries in the United States include blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, and strawberries. Less commonly consumed berries include acai, black currant, chokeberry, and mulberries. Berries are low in calories and are high in moisture and fiber. They containnatural antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, andmicronutrients such as folic acid, calcium, selenium, alpha and beta carotene, and lutein. Phytochemicals found in berries include polyphenols along with high proportions of flavonoids including anthocyanins and ellagitannins. Table 1 lists the commonly consumed berries and their selected nutrient and phytochemical composition as identified in the...