Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Berries Good for the Heart

Eating Moderate Amounts of Berries Every Day May Lower Blood Pressure and Raise Good Cholesterol, Study Shows
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 15, 2008 -- Eating berries may boost heart health.

So says a study backing up berries' status as a super food. The small Finnish study suggests that eating a moderate amount of berries may increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.

For the study, researchers recruited 72 middle-aged men and women with some risk factors for heart disease -- including mild hypertension (high blood pressure), elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and low HDL cholesterol.

Half of the volunteers ate two portions, totaling about 150 grams, of berries every day for eight weeks. The volunteers ate an assortment of berries either whole, pureed, or in juice form, including bilberries, lingonberries, black currants, strawberries, chokeberries, and raspberries.

After eight weeks, HDL cholesterol levels of the berry eaters increased an average of 5.2%. Systolic blood pressure (the top number on a blood pressure reading) decreased by an average of 1.5 points, but the greatest decrease was seen in those with the highest blood pressures initially. There was no change in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number). It did not affect body weight.

Berries: Packed With Polyphenols

Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, but berries contain particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols. The researchers estimate that the berry eaters in the study consumed about three times the amount of polyphenols as the nonberry eaters and had higher levels of polyphenols in their blood.

Other polyphenol-rich foods include chocolate, tea, and red wine, which also have been linked to lower heart disease risk.

The findings appear in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure