JUNE 2019: A new study has found that New Zealand Blackcurrant extract can boost exercise-induced cardiovascular function and lower blood pressure during 30 minutes of brisk walking. The new findings also confirm the berry is more effective with longer use.
The University of Chichester findings suggest those who use blackcurrant could have a better exercise experience, because of less stress in the cardiovascular system and enhanced blood and oxygen delivery to working muscles.
This discovery adds to previous findings that the berry extract can enhance the benefits of exercise by increasing fat burning by 16% during 30 minutes of brisk walking.
Across the studies, 15 healthy male participants took 600mg (two capsules) of CurraNZ and were tested after 7 days, 14 days and every second day for 14 days. They performed a 30-minute moderate-intensity walking test, during which stroke volume, cardiac output, blood pressure, heart rate and total peripheral resistance were measured.
The findings, released at the Nutrition 2019 Conference in Baltimore, USA on June 9, showed:
• Participants on blackcurrant extract experienced a 6% reduction to diastolic blood pressure after 7 days, which increased to 11% after 14 days of daily use
• A 14% reduction in total peripheral resistance after 14 days continuous intake
• Mean arterial pressure (average blood pressure measurement) reduced by 7% after 14 days, but had no significant effect after 7 days
• 9% increase in cardiac output at 7 and 14 days
• 10% increase in stroke volume after 14 days
Research to date is showing that NZ blackcurrant can enhance the health benefits of exercise and potentially provide a natural intervention to benefit cardiovascular health and boost fat metabolism in unhealthy and clinical populations.
Mark Willems, Professor of Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester, says: “If you combine the observations, these studies contain exciting messages for the effectiveness of blackcurrant and what it offers the general public looking to improve their health and fitness.”
Blackcurrant’s effect on increasing blood flow has been highlighted in previous studies, with resulting benefits of reducing fatigue and increasing oxygen uptake during exercise. A study in New Zealand has shown that exercisers using blackcurrant experienced less perceived exertion, which is supported by the findings in this new University of Chichester study.
Professor Willems says: “It is really beneficial to have higher cardiac output during exercise because your muscles receive a greater supply of oxygen and you can better cope with fatigue. Therefore, it’s easier for the body to deal with that exercise.
“If we were to see the same effects from blackcurrant in people who have limitations in blood flow, then they could really benefit. Blackcurrant widens blood vessels and therefore you would probably be more comfortable with this kind of brisk walking exercise. On the extreme end, it would be interesting to see the effect of blackcurrant on people with peripheral arterial disease who, due to their condition, find exercise hard.”
For more information about the health benefits of NZ Blackcurrants click here.