Nutrients boost the circulatory system
- Turmeric enhances brain blood flow
Blood flow to the brain declines with age. In this study, 12 healthy men and women, average age 70, took a placebo or 10 grams of turmeric extract. Before and two hours after, doctors measured heart rate and blood pressure, then administered a hand-grip test designed to activate the brain, before measuring brain oxygen levels and brain blood flow volume.
Hemoglobin is the oxygen transporting protein in red blood cells. To gauge the capacity to transport oxygen, doctors measured total hemoglobin, which increased 54 percent. Oxygen to the brain increased 42 percent. Pulse and blood pressure did not change significantly in either group.
Discussing the findings, doctors said the results indicate supplementing with turmeric/curcumin in older adults can increase brain blood flow during exercises designed to activate the brain.
Reference: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition; 2022, Vol. 73, No. 2, 274-83
- Cranberry improves vessel function
How well vessels relax and dilate as blood flow increases is one way doctors gauge chances for heart and circulatory problems. In this study, 45 healthy adult men took a placebo or 9 grams of cranberry extract powder—equal to about 100 grams of fresh cranberries and 525 mg of total polyphenols.
After one month, vessel dilation capacity had increased between 6.3 and 7.5 percent in the cranberry group while not changing for placebo. Doctors also measured polyphenol metabolite levels in blood plasma and in urine, and found significant increases at two hours, 24 hours, and after one month of taking cranberry, compared to placebo.
Doctors said the increases in polyphenols and metabolites in the bloodstream and the improvements in vessel dilation capacity after taking cranberry suggest an important role for this powerful antioxidant in preventing heart and circulatory conditions.
Reference: Food & Function; 2022, Issue 7, Published Online