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A-Z of Cardio: Hawthorn Berry

Wednesday December 19, 2018
A-Z of Cardio: Hawthorn Berry

Over 30% of deaths worldwide are caused by cardiovascular illnesses (1). Consuming an antioxidant-rich diet may lower the risk of cardiovascular conditions and encourage optimal heart function (2). Antioxidants can neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, thus protecting cells from oxidative damage.  

A deciduous plant bursting with antioxidant flavonoids, hawthorn berry can support a healthy diet to improve heart health. Flavonoids are potent compounds naturally present in colourful fruit and vegetables, which are believed to reduce inflammation, lower oxidative stress, and promote immune function in the body.  

In research, hawthorn berry supplementation has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL). In a study conducted on 79 patients with high blood pressure, 1200mg of hawthorn berry significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure after daily consumption for 16 weeks (3). In addition, hawthorn berry can help dilate blood vessels to improve blood flow, which can reduce the person’s risk of developing heart conditions such as angina (4).  Not only is hawthorn berry beneficial for cardiovascular function, its anti-inflammatory properties can promote overall health and wellbeing (5).  

Therefore, incorporating hawthorn berry into your diet may support cardiovascular health, as well as improve general wellbeing. For personalised advice, visit your local health store for additional nutritional support.

Author: Salma Dawood is a Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.

References:

1) British Heart Foundation, Cardiovascular Disease Statistics, 2017, available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/research/heart-statistics/heart-statistics-publications/cardiovascular-disease-statistics-2017 


2) Oregon State University, Flavonoids, Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/flavonoids#cardiovascular-disease-prevention 


3) Walker AF, Marakis G, Simpson E et. al (2006) Hypotensive effects of hawthorn for patients with diabetes taking prescription drugs: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Gen Pract. 2006 Jun;56(527):437-43. 


4) Leila Jalaly, Gholamreza Sharifi, Mohammad Faramarzi (2015) Comparison of the effects of Crataegus oxyacantha extract, aerobic exercise and their combination on the serum levels of ICAM-1 and E-Selectin in patients with stable angina pectoris  


5) Tadic VM, Dobric S, Markovic GM (2008) Anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, free-radical-scavenging, and antimicrobial activities of hawthorn berries ethanol extract. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 10;56(17):7700-9. 



The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.

 

TAGS: Nutrition News and ViewsCardiovascular health, Cardio

 

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