Freeze-dried bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) dietary supplement improves walking distance and lipids after myocardial infarction. An open-label randomized clinical trial

Lilith Arevström, Cecilia Bergh, Rikard Landberg, Huaxing Wu, Ana Maria Rodriguez Mateos, Micael Waldenborg, Anders Magnuson, Stepháne Blanc, Ole Fröberta

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32 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Bilberries, Vaccinium myrtillus, have a high content of phenolic compounds including anthocyanins, which could provide cardiometabolic health benefits following acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We hypothesized that standard medical therapy supplemented with freeze-dried bilberry after AMI would have a more beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk markers and exercise capacity than medical therapy alone. Patients were allocated in a 1:1 ratio within 24 hours of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in a 8 week trial to either V. myrtillus powder (40 g per day, equivalent to 480 g fresh bilberries) and standard medical therapy, or to a control group receiving standard medical therapy alone. High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and exercise capacity measured with the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) were primary biochemical and clinical endpoints, respectively. Fifty subjects completed the study. No statistically significant difference in hs-CRP was detected between groups. The mean 6MWT distance increased significantly more in the bilberry group compared to the control group, mean difference 38 m at follow-up (95% CI 14-62, p=0.003). Ex vivo oxidized LDL was significantly lowered in the bilberry group compared to control, geometric mean ratio 0.80 (95% CI 0.66-0.96, p=0.017), while total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol did not differ significantly between groups. Anthocyanin derived metabolites in blood increased significantly in the bilberry group during the intervention and were different after 8 weeks between the bilberry group and control. Findings in the present study suggest that bilberries may have clinically relevant beneficial effects following AMI, a larger, double-blind clinical trial is warranted to confirm this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-22
JournalNUTRITION RESEARCH
Volume62
Early online date17 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Nov 2018

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