Source: Am J Clin Nutr, February 2008;87(2):323-31.
Research: This study examined the effects of berry consumption on platelet function, HDL cholesterol and blood pressure. Researchers enrolled 72 middle-aged subjects with cardiovascular risk factors to participate in a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled intervention trial. The participants were randomly assigned to consume either berries or control products for 8 weeks. Every other day the berry group consumed 100 grams of bilberries and 50 grams of lingonberries. On the other days, they consumed 100 grams of blackcurrants or strawberries.
Results: At the end of the study, researchers found that HDL cholesterol levels increased significantly by over 5% in the berry group in comparison to the control group, which only increased .6%. The berry group also experienced an 11% decrease in platelet function in comparison to the control group, which had only a 1.4% decrease. In addition, blood pressure in the berry group decreased significantly compared to the control group. According to researchers, the consumption of moderate amounts of berries resulted in favorable changes in platelet function, HDL cholesterol and blood pressure. Because of this they believe that regular consumption of berries may play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.