Review supports heart health benefits of Aronia berry consumption

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Markus Novak
© Getty Images / Markus Novak
Daily consumption of Aronia may significantly improve cholesterol levels, says the first systematic review and meta-analysis of the berry’s potential health benefits.

According to findings published in Phytotherapy Research​, ​Aronia consumption was associated with an average HDL cholesterol increase of 1.48 mg/dl, while LDL and total cholesterol levels were reduced in shorter term studies (less than 10 weeks in duration).

“The results of current meta‐analysis study highlight that Aronia supplementation may lead to a significant increase in HDL, and reduction in total cholesterol and LDL, respectively, and thus, is of contemporary, clinical interest,”​ they wrote.

“This information may be operationalized by health care providers and clinicians seeking a complementary therapy for their patients.”

Ready for primetime

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA earlier this year​, Indiana-based Artemis said that accumulating science is helping to drive the uptake of this legacy North American botanical as an ingredient.

Past research has shown that daily consumption of 300 mg aronia extract for 2 months decreased blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and total triglyceride, and increased antioxidant enzyme activity ​in adults with metabolic syndrome. Similarly, daily consumption of 255 mg aronia extract for 6 weeks reduced blood pressure, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 ​in patients that survived a myocardial infarction and were prescribed statins.

More recent research from 2017 conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut and the University of Wisconsin showed that consumption of the berry reduced plasma total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in former smokers.

Review details

For the new review, scientists from the UK, Iran, China, India, and Nigeria worked together to study how Aronia consumption may impact lipid profiles, blood pressure, and biomarkers of inflammation in randomized controlled trials.

A literature search revealed seven appropriate studies, which used doses ranging from 100 ml per day for juices or 255 mg per day for supplements, and durations ranging from 4 to 24 weeks.

Pooling the data revealed that Aronia consumption led to significant increases in HDL cholesterol, but no changes on systolic blood pressure and C‐reactive protein, or interleukin‐1.

When the researchers focused on studies shorter than 10 weeks, they also found that Aronia consumption was associated with significant reductions in total and LDL cholesterol of 7.2 and 5.8, respectively.

“This review facilitates clinicians, and other key stakeholders, on understanding the importance of a natural food supplement, which may be conducive to the positive treatment of individuals suffering with noncommunicable diseases, particularly given the markedly reduced side effects associated with a complementary phytotherapy,”​ wrote the authors.

“It is imperative that future studies place importance upon well‐constructed methodology and study design, the source and type of Aronia, the mode of administration, and the utilization of standardized outcome variables.”

Source: Phytotherapy Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/ptr.6398
“The effect of Aronia consumption on lipid profile, blood pressure, and biomarkers of inflammation: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials”
Authors: J. Rahmani 

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