Lingonberry, cranberry and blackcurrant juices may reduce compounds that promote inflammation, suggests new data that supports a role for the berries to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Using rats that are engineered to develop high blood pressure (hypertension), scientists from the University of Helsinki and Valio report that berry juices were associated with reductions in levels of compounds linked to inflammation, including monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP1) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2).
"This study was, as far as we know, the first long-term in vivo experiment in which mechanisms of favorable vascular effects of Finnish berries were studied at cellular and molecular level focusing on inflammation and thrombosis," wrote the Finnish researchers in The Journal of Functional Foods.
"The main finding was that long-term consumption of cold-compressed juices from cranberry and lingonberry but less blackcurrant show anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic actions in [spontaneously hypertensive rats]."
The study adds to a growing body of science supporting the potential beneficial effects of berry extracts.The study compared the effects of cranberry, lingonberry and blackcurrant on various markers of inflammation in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Animals were given free access to one of the juices for eight weeks, and they consumed an average of 38, 44 and 46 grams of cranberry, lingonberry and blackcurrant juice per animal per day.
Results showed that expression of COX2 decreased by at least 50% in the lingonberry and blackcurrant fed animals, while MCP1 levels decreased the most in the lingonberry-fed animals, compared with the control animals.
"Lingonberry juice appears to be the most effective of the tested juices as it was also in improving endothelial vasodilatation."
Source: The Journal of Functional Foods
Study used: "Lingonberry, cranberry and blackcurrant juices affect mRNA expressions of inflammatory and atherothrombotic markers of SHR in a long-term treatment"