Heart Disease Facts
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Globally, nearly 19 million people died of cardiovascular disease in 2019, the latest year for which worldwide statistics are calculated.[i]
High cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation are among the risk factors for heart disease.[ii] One important way to reduce the risks of heart disease is through our diet. There is abundant research that a diet packed with fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.[iii]
The Research Behind Haskap Berries
Researchers are narrowing in on the specifics of why this is true. One factor is the anthocyanin content in fruits and vegetables. Anthocyanins are the nutritional compounds that give purple, red, and blue fruits and vegetables their vibrant color (especially haskap berries). Studies have shown that anthocyanins in general provide protection from heart disease in a variety of ways.[iv][v][vi]
Excitingly, there are also studies linking the anthocyanins in haskap berries specifically with protection against heart disease. Check them out:
This study showed lower blood pressure from haskap consumption.[vii]
- Study title: A pilot dose-response study of the acute effects of haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea L.) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older adults
- Journal/date: European Journal of Nutrition, December 2019
- Conclusion: The results showed improvements in memory and lower diastolic blood pressure, with higher haskap doses being more effective.
This study looked at how haskap berries have numerous health advantages, including a cholesterol benefit.[viii]
- Study title: The potential health benefits of haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.): Role of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside
- Journal/date: Journal of Functional Foods, 2018
- Conclusion: Haskap berries may exert cardio-protective effects by interfering with glucose and lipid metabolism, favorably modulating cholesterol, and maintaining normal vascular function and blood pressure.
This study investigated the effect of Canadian haskap berry extracts on pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines.[ix]
- Study title: Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Haskap Cultivars is Polyphenols-Dependent
- Journal/Title: Biomolecules, 2015
- Conclusion: Haskap berry polyphenols have the potential to act as an effective inflammation inhibitor.
[iv] Jennings, Amy et al. “Higher anthocyanin intake is associated with lower arterial stiffness and central blood pressure in women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 96,4 (2012): 781-8. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.042036
[v] Garcia, Chelsea, and Christopher N Blesso. “Antioxidant properties of anthocyanins and their mechanism of action in atherosclerosis.” Free radical biology & medicine vol. 172 (2021): 152-166. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2021.05.040
[vi] Wallace, Taylor C et al. “Systematic Review of Anthocyanins and Markers of Cardiovascular Disease.” Nutrients vol. 8,1 32. 9 Jan. 2016, doi:10.3390/nu8010032
[vii] Bell, Lynne, and Claire M Williams. “A pilot dose-response study of the acute effects of haskap berry extract (Lonicera caerulea L.) on cognition, mood, and blood pressure in older adults.” European journal of nutrition vol. 58,8 (2019): 3325-3334. doi:10.1007/s00394-018-1877-9
[viii] Rupasinghe, H P Vasantha & Arumuggam, Niroshaathevi & Amararathna, Madumani & Silva, A.B.K.H.. (2018). The potential health benefits of haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.): Role of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. Journal of Functional Foods. 44. 24-39. 10.1016/j.jff.2018.02.023.
[ix] Vasantha Rupasinghe, H.P., Boehm, M.M.A., Sekhon-Loodu, S., Parmar, I., Bors, B., Jamieson, A.R. (2015). Anti-inflammatory activity of haskap cultivars is polyphenols-dependent, 5(2), 1079-1098. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom5021079