Aronia berry, also called chokeberry, is a popular health store addition that’s sold in juices and in greens supplements. It is packed with nutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin C and anthocyanins. A new December 2016 study wanted to find out if these super healthy berries could help reduce risks of heart disease.
For this research, published in Nutrition Research Journal, 49 former smokers (who are known to have increased cardiovascular disease) were given the berry to reduce symptoms associated with heart disease risks for 12 weeks. They took 500 mg of aronia extract every day, and then the fat in their blood, their blood pressure, and signs of inflammation and free radicals were measured.
The most important result was their change in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol) from when they began. The scientists determined that changes in their blood fats were due to the polyphenol antioxidants in the berries. Taking aronia reduced their total cholesterol by 8% and their LDL cholesterol by 11% after 12 weeks. The berries did not seem to change the group’s blood pressure or signs of inflammation, however.
 
(Liyang XieTerrence VanceBohkyung Kim, et al, “Aronia berry polyphenol consumption reduces plasma total and LDL cholesterol in former smokers …”Nutrition Research Journal, December 2016, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2016.12.007)

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