The findings revealed that men with early symptoms of high blood pressure (hypertension) reduced this by 7% after drinking Montmorency cherry (MC) juice.
This observation is comparable to current medications that are available to treat hypertension. Over five million people in England suffer from high blood pressure, which can lead to increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, stroke or dementia.
In Europe, CVD is a major cause of death in adults and is responsible for 48% of all annual deaths.
Researchers from Northumbria University enrolled fifteen men with early hypertension into the study. Each man received either a 60ml dose of MC concentrate or a placebo.
Cardiovascular health was assessed with arterial stiffness, blood pressure, and phenolic acid absorption assessed at the start and end of the study.
The researchers found MC consumption significantly lowered blood pressure by 7 mmHg in the three hours after consuming the drink.
Improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors were closely linked to increases in circulating protocatechuic and vanillic acid that are known to be present in this type of cherry.
“This is the first study to investigate the acute effects of Montmorency tart cherry consumption on blood pressure, arterial stiffness and microvascular vasodilation in males with early hypertension,” said Proffessor Glyn Howatson, research leader and professor in Human and Applied Physiology at Northumbria University.
“We believe these benefits might be linked to the combined actions of some of the plant compounds within the Montmorency concentrate and the positive impact they exert on vascular function.”
Montmorency cherries are high in numerous phytochemicals including the flavonoids isorhamnetin, kaempferol, quercetin, catechin, epicatechin, procyanidins, and anthocyanins
It has previously been shown that MCs attenuate inflammation oxidative stress and accelerate exercise recovery.
Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.123869
“Effects of Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus Cerasus L.) consumption on vascular function in men with early hypertension.”
Authors: Karen Keane et al.