Impact of tart cherry juice on systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in older adults: a randomized controlled trial
Hypertension and dyslipidemia are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Common treatments for high blood pressure (BP) and dyslipidemia include medications, but there is question as to whether natural sources may be adequate to reduce CVD risk factors. We examined the effects of tart cherry juice on lipid profiles, BP, glucose, insulin, and homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in older adults. In this randomized-controlled clinical trial, 17 men and 20 women between the ages of 65–80 years were randomly assigned to consume 480 ml of tart cherry juice or control drink daily for 12 weeks. Control beverages were matched for energy and sugar content. Outcome variables were assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks of tart cherry juice or control drink. Systolic BP and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) exhibited treatment × time interaction effects. At the end of the study, participants in the tart cherry group had lower levels of LDL cholesterol (difference of −20.6 with P = 0.001) and total cholesterol (difference of −19.11 with P = 0.01), and higher levels of glucose (difference of 7.94 with P = 0.001), triglycerides (difference of 6.66 with P = 0.01) and BMI (difference of 1.06 with P = 0.02) than in the control group. Neither tart cherry juice nor control significantly altered body weight, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, diastolic BP, insulin and HOMA-IR. Our findings show that tart cherry juice can lower the levels of systolic BP and LDL cholesterol. However, larger and longer follow-up studies are needed to further assess cardio-protective effects of tart cherry juice.
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