Effects of daily blueberry consumption on circulating biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and antioxidant defense in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension: a randomized controlled trial
Oxidative stress and inflammation are central to the development of a number of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and previous research suggests that blueberry consumption may attenuate these processes. The present study investigated the effects of blueberries on blood biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and antioxidant defense in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension. In a randomized, parallel-arm, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 40 pre- and stage 1-hypertensive postmenopausal women aged 45 to 65 years were randomly assigned to receive 22 g freeze-dried highbush blueberry powder per day (Blueberry) or 22 g placebo powder per day (Control) for 8 weeks. A blood biomarker of oxidative DNA damage, 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), as well as blood biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and antioxidant defense were assessed at baseline, 4 and 8 weeks. 8-OHdG levels were significantly (P = 0.008) lower in Blueberry compared to Control at 4 weeks with a significant time-by-treatment interaction (P = 0.04). Levels were not different between groups at 8 weeks. Other biomarkers measured were not affected by blueberry consumption. Daily consumption of blueberries for 4 weeks, but not 8 weeks, attenuated a biomarker of oxidative DNA damage in pre- and stage 1-hypertensive postmenopausal women. Future clinical studies should directly evaluate the effects of blueberry consumption on oxidative stress, inflammation, and antioxidant defense at the cellular level and in the vasculature in this population.