A new study1 has found that the proprietary New Zealand Blackcurrant extract, CurraNZ®, can amplify the heart health benefits of exercise by boosting the blood pressure-lowering effects that occur in the recovery phase.
Researchers from the University of Worcester discovered that one week’s intake of CurraNZ® blackcurrant extract boosted the blood pressure-lowering effects by an average 2.1% compared to placebo.
15 healthy, untrained adults in their 20s and 30s with normal blood pressure were tested following a week’s intake of 600mg CurraNZ blackcurrant extract. Two hours following their final dose, they underwent 60 minutes of low-to-moderate treadmill exercise. Their blood pressure, energy metabolism and heart rate variability were measured.
Findings showed the short-term intake of CurraNZ®:
CurraNZ blackcurrant extract has been shown to improve the health and function of the cardiovascular system in young and older adults by inducing vasodilation, increasing blood flow, normalising blood pressure and enhancing oxidative capacity and oxygen uptake in muscle during exercise.
It is the first time the effects of blackcurrant have been tested in a post-exercise hypotension model and adds to the emerging picture of New Zealand blackcurrant extract’s powerful contribution to improving cardiovascular responses during and after exercise, and at rest.
“This study has shown that short-term intake of blackcurrant extract effectively increases the hypotensive benefits of exercise, which is an exciting discovery and novel finding.”
Dr Matthew Cook, Senior Lecturer in Sports and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester, who conducted his PhD on New Zealand blackcurrants for sports performance, led the study.
He says: “Exercise is a well-known way of managing high blood pressure, because of its effects on reducing resting blood pressure. We know that elevated blood pressure is a modifiable risk factor for various diseases, and even small changes in blood pressure can have large implications for health across the lifespan”.
“Post exercise hypotension is a good thing and one of the main benefits of undertaking exercise.”
1. New Zealand Blackcurrant Increases Post-Exercise Hypotension Following Sustained Moderate Intensity Exercise, International Journal of Sport Nutrition, Jul 6;1-9. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2023-0014.