12 January - 20 June 2016

Montmorency tart cherry juice may reduce blood pressure in people with early hypertension

Drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice can reduce blood pressure, according to a small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study by Keane et al.

Drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice can reduce blood pressure, according to a small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  The study by Keane et al. from Northumbria University, Newcastle and supported by the Cherry Marketing Institute note that previous epidemiological  studies have suggested that foods high in polyphenols can have cardiovascular health benefits on blood pressure, insulin resistance, cholesterol concentrations and platelet activity.  Montmorency tart cherries (MC) are reported to be high in numerous phytochemicals including flavonoids, quercetin, and anthocyanins amongst others. The aim of this current study was to investigate the effect of MC consumption on arterial stiffness, blood pressure and microvascular vasodilation in men with early hypertension.

Keane et al. recruited 16 men with early hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥ 130 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure ≥ 80 mm Hg or both).  Apart from blood pressure the participants were reported to be in good health and non-smokers.  At baseline the scientists measured blood pressure, microvascular vasodilation and arterial stiffness.  Using a randomised blinded crossover with a washout period of 14 days, the participants received either 60 mL MC concentrate (noted to be equivalent to approximately 180 whole cherries) followed by a placebo (fruit flavoured cordial) or a placebo following by 60 mL MC concentrate. Forty eight hours before consumption the participants were instructed to follow a low phenolic diet by avoiding fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee amongst others and record dietary intake using a 2 day dietary record.  After consumption of the drink, macrovascular vasodilation, arterial stiffness and heart rate were taken at 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8 hrs and blood pressure taken every hour. 

Keane et al. report that the participants who consumed the cherry concentrate saw a peak reduction in their systolic blood pressure of 7 mm Hg in the three hours after consuming the drink however they did not observe any change in microvascular vasodilation after intervention.  Previous research has reported that a reduction of between 5-6 mm Hg over a five year period to be associated with a 38% reduced risk of stroke and 23% reduced risk of coronary heart disease.  Previous findings have reported no changes in blood pressure after tart cherry consumption in normotensive participants, which Keane et al. suggest could indicate that the “magnitude of change in the BP response is directly related to baseline BP”.  The greatest improvement in BP occurred in association with peak plasma protocatechuic acid and vanillic acid, which suggests that these two metabolites may partly be responsible for the effects seen.  These two metabolites have been found, in previous studies to modulate smooth muscle cell behaviour in vitro.

RSSL can offer anthocyanin analysis in a range of foods and beverages. For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com 

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry