Aronia berry extract positively affects indicators of cardiovascular health.
In a recent study, researchers investigated the effects of Aronia berry supplements in healthy participants. Specifically, they wanted to test the effects of these supplements on vascular function and the composition of the gut microbiome.
In this clinical trial, 66 healthy men were divided into three groups. The first group was given an extract containing high levels of polyphenols (equivalent to 75g of berries), the second was given whole fruit powder (equivalent to 10g of berries), or a placebo (no polyphenols).
The researchers found that after 12 weeks of supplementation, participants who were taking either the extract or the whole fruit powder had significant increases in flow mediated dilation, which were recorded as early as two hours after consuming the extract. Flow mediated dilation refers to the widening of the artery in response to an increase in blood flow; it is a measure of blood vessel health and is used as a predictor of cardiovascular disease. Increases in flow mediated dilation are associated with positive arterial and cardiovascular health.
The study also reported increases in metabolized components of phenols in the plasma of participants who were taking the supplements. When looking at the microbiota, the researchers found that Aronia extract increased the growth of a specific type of bacteria – Anaerostipes, while the Aronia whole fruit increased the growth of another type – Bacteroides.
Takeaway: In healthy men, Aronia berry could contribute to cardiovascular health in those who are at low risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD
Reference: Geoffrey Istas, Eleanor Wood, Melanie Le Sayec, Claudia Rawlings, Jeeyoung Yoon,Vaishnavi Dandavate, Debora Cera, Simone Rampelli, Adele Costabile, Emilie Fromentin, Ana Rodriguez-Mateos (2019). Effects of aronia berry (poly)phenols on vascular function and gut microbiota: a double-blind randomized controlled trial in adult men. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 110, Issue 2, August 2019, Pages 316–329.
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