WHAT DO BLUEBERRIES AND VIAGRA HAVE IN COMMON? THEY BOTH INVOLVE INTERACTION WITH THE INNER LINING OF BLOOD VESSELS
Researchers at Harvard have published a study suggesting that blueberries may help women lower the chance of a heart attack. Beginning in 1991, they tracked more than 100,000 women ages 25 to 42 with food-frequency questionnaires every four years through 2009. They found that women who ate more blueberries and strawberries had a lower chance of heart attack. They write, “Blue and red fruits and vegetables have bioactive compounds that can be connected with the decreased risk of MI in middle-aged and young women”.
Heart attacks can happen because of a disturbance to the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, which can lead to the formation of a clot that results in a heart attack. The inner lining of the blood vessels is surprisingly important in the function of the heart and the control of various body functions. The inner lining of the arteries, the endothelium is surprisingly complex and surprisingly important. The endothelial function includes producing vital chemicals that help to control the body.
“The combination of consuming 2 foods-rich with anthocyanin, strawberries, and blueberries is connected with a lower risk of MI (95% confidence interval, 0.40–1.08, hazard ratio, 0.66) for the ones who intake >3 servings per week and those with lower intake”. They suspect that the chemical in blueberries may impact the endothelium of arteries.
The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels, the inner lining. The endothelium among other things produces nitric oxide, a vasodilator (makes arteries wider), (nitric oxide is also produced elsewhere) which is a potent signaling molecule, that happens to be a gas and thus can move more easily among cells that can cause widening of the blood vessels,i.e. vasodilation. Widening the blood vessels can be good as when it lowers your blood pressure or bad if it lowers it too much as in shock. It is interesting that drugs such as Viagra work through the nitric oxide pathway.
The scientists came to the conclusion that the woman who consumed more than 3 servings of strawberries and blueberries per week- had a lower risk of heart attack than the ones who consumed less.