Black Raspberry Extract May Reduce Arterial Stiffness
Increased arterial stiffness is associated with an increased risk of major cardiovascular events. A recent study suggests that taking a black raspberry extract may lower arterial stiffness and improve heart health.
Participants in the study included 51 people with metabolic syndrome. Half of them were given 750 mg of black raspberry supplement and half were given a placebo daily for 12 weeks. The researchers recorded blood pressure, vascular stiffness, circulating endothelial progenitor cells, and markers of inflammation at the beginning and end of the study.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted an 8% reduction in vascular stiffness in the black raspberry group when compared with the placebo group. They also noted that circulating endothelial progenitor cells (which repair and regenerate damaged arteries) were significantly higher at 19 microlitres in the black raspberry group compared with -28 microlitres in the placebo group. Finally, inflammation markers such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha were significantly reduced in the black raspberry group, but not in the placebo group.
Researchers from Korea University Anam Hospital and Gochang Black Raspberry Research Institute in South Korea conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 18, 2016, in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
Black raspberries are rich in antioxidants, particularly one called ellagic acid. Previous studies suggest that the ellagic acid in black raspberries may help improve vision and heart health, lower blood pressure, and improve memory in mature adults.