Benefits of Blueberries for Artery Function

Benefits of Blueberries for Artery Function

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, | By | NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG is a science-based nonprofit organization founded by Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM,

After women ate more than a cup of blueberries, researchers couldn’t find hardly any anthocyanins, the fruit’s blue pigments purported to be the beneficial active ingredients, in their bloodstream or flowing through their urine. How can blueberries have so many amazing effects if their anthocyanins barely even make it into our system?

Researchers decided to radioactively tag anthocyanins and trace them throughout the body to find out. They discovered that blueberry pigments are metabolized by our liver and our microbiome (the good bacteria in our gut) into active metabolites that are then absorbed into our system.

Some of the metabolites peak in the bloodstream within an hour of consumption, but others ramp up more slowly, especially if the berries have to make it all the way down into the colon. So, if you track the metabolites even further, some spike even higher between 6 to 24 hours after consumption. (See the chart at 4:09 into the video) 

A day later, we may still be experiencing berry benefits as our gut bacteria continue to churn out goodies that get absorbed back into our system, feeding us as we feed them. Eating blueberries is like taking a natural probiotic. Win-win all around.

You can eat your blueberries raw or cooked, as researchers saw the same remarkable improvement in artery function with blueberries baked into a bun.

Doctors Notes:

This is the first in an extended series of videos I’m producing on the latest berry research. They taste great and you get to live longer? That’s what plant-based eating is all about!

What else can blueberries do? Check out:

Want even more on berries? Check out:

How Much Fruit Is Too Much? Watch the video to find out.

What about all the fructose in fruit? See If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit?.

What about fancier options, like açai berries? See:

What about the effects of other foods on artery function? Check out:

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Dr. Mayfield’s Lifestyle Program is founded in decades of solid research. When we change our food, we change our lives! As you get older, you might start to notice that different foods affect how you feel. Some foods give you long-lasting energy, while other foods leave you feeling bloated and sluggish.

Let’s work together to improve your health and start healing your body naturally. This is a “no judgment zone!”