Tart Cherries

Montmorency tart cherries reduce systolic blood pressure, insulin levels and insulin concentrations in adults with metabolic syndrome participating in a small pilot study publish in the Journal of Functional Foods. While previous studies on Montmorency tart cherries have explore individual aspects of metabolic syndrome such as blood pressure and triglycerides this is the first study to examine the full cluster of conditions that comprise metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance.

Significant reduction in systolic blood

Our most noteworthy cardiovascular response observe in the study was the significant reduction in systolic blood pressure for the first two hours after consumption, said lead author Terun Desai, from the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK. The unique composition of tart cherries, including the synergistic influence of anthocyanins, other polyphenols, and fiber may be a factor.

A group of 11 men and women, ages 37-61, participate in this randomize, placebo control crossover trial. All participants met at least three of the five criteria for metabolic syndrome; (waist circumference > 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men, high or borderline high triglyceride levels; so low levels of HDL, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar).

During the 6-week study, on three different occasions, each separate by a 14-day washout period; so participants consume either Montmorency tart cherry juice (30 ml of juice concentrate mix with 100 ml of water), Montmorency tart cherry capsules (10 capsules to match the anthocyanin content of the juice with 130 ml water) or a placebo drink (30 ml of a fruit-flavor syrup mix with 100 ml of water).
The juice contain the equivalent of about 90-110 whole tart cherries; hence the capsules were made from about 100 whole tart cherries. The placebo drink was match to the tart cherry juice for calories, taste and visual appearance; hence using maltodextrin (a flavorless carbohydrate), citric acid and red and black food coloring.

Participants instruct to fast overnight

Each testing day began in a.m., with participants instruct to fast overnight for at least 10 hours. Height, weight, waist circumference and markers of heart and metabolic health (including arterial stiffness, blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, stroke volume, mean arterial pressure, total peripheral resistance, resting metabolic rate, glucose and insulin levels, insulin resistance/sensitivity and blood lipids) were measure at baseline.
Arterial stiffness was also improve 2 hours after consumption of Montmorency tart cherry juice; hence compare to the placebo, however the significance of this finding is unclear as other indicators of vascular stiffness were not improve. No significant differences were find for the other outcomes examine.
The results are preliminary and more research is need with a larger sample size. Global rates of metabolic syndrome are on the rise and the results of the present study; hence suggest Montmorency tart cherries, in juice or capsule form, could exert beneficial effects for adults with this condition when incorporate into an overall healthy diet,” said Desai.
The researchers also demonstrate that, while certain effects differ at certain points in time; so overall responses between Montmorency tart cherry capsules and Montmorency tart cherry juice were not statistically different. This refutes their original hypothesis that capsules may be superior to juice due to an increase bioavailability of anthocyanins. Given this study’s acute nature, longer-term research to enhance clinical relevance is warranted.