chokeberry improves blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and metabolic syndrome

Lots of berries, from blueberries to bilberries and hawthorn berries, have achieved herbal and health fame. One berry that has not attracted the spotlight yet is chokeberry. But it may be time to start taking notice of this emerging herbal star.

Chokeberry first attracted notice just a few years ago when a 2007 study discovered that chokeberry significantly reduced blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while significantly raising the heart healthy HDL cholesterol. It also helped lower glucose, homocysteine and fibrinogen, all of which would also help heart health (Pharmacol Rep 2007;59 (suppl 1):177-82).

That same year, chokeberry was found to improve the blood pressure lowering effect of statin drugs in  people who had survived a heart attack (Atherosclerosis 2007;194:e179-e184).

In 2015, another study showed that chokeberry could lower blood pressure (J Food Med 2015;18:1231-8). And a year later, a single-blind study found that chokeberry significantly decreased daytime ambulatory diastolic blood pressure (Nutr Res 2016;36(11):1222-1230).

Now a new study has looked at chokeberry’s ability to help people with metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed in the presence of any 3 of the following 5 symptoms: abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose. It is in some ways the disease of our times. It affects a quarter of the world’s population.

The study gave 30mL of black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) to 144 people with metabolic syndrome for 28 days.

In just 4 weeks, the chokeberry did a lot. Body weight and waist size went down significantly. Blood sugar improved significantly. As in the earlier studies, systolic and diastolic blood pressure dropped significantly. LDL cholesterol went down significantly, triglycerides went down significantly in people who had metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and HDL cholesterol went up in women with metabolic syndrome (Mol Cell Biochem. July 2021;476(7):2663-2673).

This new study adds to the resume of this emerging herbal remedy, especially for heart and blood sugar health.

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