Benefits of Blueberries for Heart Disease

Benefits of Blueberries for Heart Disease
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Blueberry tea is put to the test for cholesterol lowering.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

In this new review on the intake of berries and their brightly colored pigments, called anthocyanins, they note four out of five studies “suggest that increased…intake is significantly associated with a reduction in risk of” coronary heart disease, the number one killer of men and women, by between 12 and 32 percent. That lower range is from studies of older individuals, and the greater reduction of risk was noted in younger populations. So, perhaps the earlier we start eating berries, the better? And, maybe the more the better—a 47-percent drop in heart attack risk for those in the top 10 percent of berry consumption. It’s almost like one to one. For every 15 mg increase a day, a 17 percent drop in risk. So, how can you get 100 mg a day? By eating less than a half-cup of blueberries a day—my Daily Dozen recommendation for berry intake.

Why the drop in risk, though? What do berries have to do with the heart? There have been over 20 randomized, controlled trials putting berries to the test in more than 1,000 people, and berries were shown to help control bad cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugars, body weight, diabetes, and inflammation. Now, lots of plant foods can do this; is there something special about berries? Like cholesterol. All whole plant foods have fiber; fiber lowers cholesterol. But even blueberry tea can lower cholesterol, even in kids who are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol.

We used to think only about 1 in 500 people had this high cholesterol gene, but now we’re realizing it may be as many as 1 in 250. Still, for the 249 others who think high cholesterol just runs in their family, more likely bad diets are what’s being passed down. But even if you do have the gene, what happens when you give kids blueberry tea? Just powdered blueberries in a tea bag dipped in hot water for five minutes, so they’re not even eating the whole food. Well, you can imagine the water turning blue as the pigments seep into the water, and indeed, the antioxidant capacity of their bloodstream increased over the six months they were in the study.

Two things of note here. First of all, no change in the control group, as expected, but note it took three months for the tea to start having a significant effect, and then, of course, six months after they stopped drinking the tea, they were back to where they started. Okay, but what happened to their cholesterol? No real change in the control group, but a 30 percent drop in LDL in the tea group—that’s like what you’d get putting these kids on a statin drug! And they just had to drink some yummy tea? But of course, when they stopped the tea, their cholesterol bounced right back.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: rawpixel.com via flickr. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

In this new review on the intake of berries and their brightly colored pigments, called anthocyanins, they note four out of five studies “suggest that increased…intake is significantly associated with a reduction in risk of” coronary heart disease, the number one killer of men and women, by between 12 and 32 percent. That lower range is from studies of older individuals, and the greater reduction of risk was noted in younger populations. So, perhaps the earlier we start eating berries, the better? And, maybe the more the better—a 47-percent drop in heart attack risk for those in the top 10 percent of berry consumption. It’s almost like one to one. For every 15 mg increase a day, a 17 percent drop in risk. So, how can you get 100 mg a day? By eating less than a half-cup of blueberries a day—my Daily Dozen recommendation for berry intake.

Why the drop in risk, though? What do berries have to do with the heart? There have been over 20 randomized, controlled trials putting berries to the test in more than 1,000 people, and berries were shown to help control bad cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugars, body weight, diabetes, and inflammation. Now, lots of plant foods can do this; is there something special about berries? Like cholesterol. All whole plant foods have fiber; fiber lowers cholesterol. But even blueberry tea can lower cholesterol, even in kids who are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol.

We used to think only about 1 in 500 people had this high cholesterol gene, but now we’re realizing it may be as many as 1 in 250. Still, for the 249 others who think high cholesterol just runs in their family, more likely bad diets are what’s being passed down. But even if you do have the gene, what happens when you give kids blueberry tea? Just powdered blueberries in a tea bag dipped in hot water for five minutes, so they’re not even eating the whole food. Well, you can imagine the water turning blue as the pigments seep into the water, and indeed, the antioxidant capacity of their bloodstream increased over the six months they were in the study.

Two things of note here. First of all, no change in the control group, as expected, but note it took three months for the tea to start having a significant effect, and then, of course, six months after they stopped drinking the tea, they were back to where they started. Okay, but what happened to their cholesterol? No real change in the control group, but a 30 percent drop in LDL in the tea group—that’s like what you’d get putting these kids on a statin drug! And they just had to drink some yummy tea? But of course, when they stopped the tea, their cholesterol bounced right back.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: rawpixel.com via flickr. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Isn’t that remarkable? It’s like wait a second, tastes great and you get to live longer? That’s what plant-based eating is all about!

But wait, what about all the sugar in fruit? See my videos If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit? and How Much Fruit is Too Much?

Here’s more info about the “Daily Dozen” thing I mentioned: Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist

What else can berries do?

For all our videos on the latest research on berries, visit our Berries topic page.

Why not just take the statin drug? See The Actual Benefit of Diet vs. Drugs

If that’s what one plant can do for heart disease risk factors what about a whole diet full of plants? See my overview video:  How Not to Die from Heart Disease

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

164 responses to “Benefits of Blueberries for Heart Disease

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  1. This is unrelated to blueberries, but this is an interesting article about TMAO production and red meat:

    https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/advance-article/doi/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy799/5232723

    Impact of chronic dietary red meat, white meat, or non-meat protein on trimethylamine N-oxide metabolism and renal excretion in healthy men and women Zeneng Wang Nathalie Bergeron Bruce S Levison Xinmin S Li Sally Chiu Xun Jia Robert A Koeth Lin Li Yuping Wu W H Wilson Tang … Show more
    European Heart Journal, ehy799, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy799
    Published: 10 December 2018

    The article is freely accessible.

      1. There’s no lack of respect. This fool is just running off at the mouth. I’m pretty sure Dr. G is happy to see all of us engage, even if it’s off topic.

      1. Yeah. Seriously. People are nasty.

        If Anne or anyone feels like posting off-topic, just do it, and don’t let these jerks ruin your day.

    1. I did look through the entire website for a place to draw Dr. Greger’s attention to new articles/studies. I considered posting on a very old video and didn’t think Dr. Greger would ever see it. I posted here after considering the options as a better thing than letting it go unnoticed.

      But since you made me feel so crappy about it, I won’t be posting again.

      1. Hello Anne,
        I am a volunteer for this website. Please do not let one rude comment dissuade you from posting on the website. I have notified the website “police” about this situation. It sounds like you made quite an effort to find an appropriate place to post your interesting study. Just FYI, any comment you make goes into a queue that we “Health Support Volunteers” will see — even if you post under an old video. Thank you for your efforts.
        Dr. Jon
        PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
        Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org

    2. Thank you! Some of my family members have FH and some are unable to even take medications because they’re children. We’ve incorporated blueberries and raspberries but now will invest in blueberry tea for travel. Keep it coming on these! Looking forward to info on Hawthorn, astragalus and other medicinal herbs I ran across while in Asia.

    3. Question re Blueberry tea
      Could you just stir the powder into hot water and have the same effect?
      Is there any health negatives in having a cup of this daily instead of whole blueberries (which I really dislike)?

    1. Konrad,

      In what way do you think Dr. Greger should adjust his recommendation?

      First of all, it is high dose Vitamin D, which is not what Dr. Greger recommends.

      Second there is this sentence: “The findings indicate that high-dose vitamin D does not lower the risk of developing cancer or cardiovascular disease in generally healthy men and women, although it appears to lower the risk of cancer death.” Lowering the risk of Cancer DEATH is a BIG deal.

      Also, it doesn’t deal with whether people were deficient in the first place.

      Dr. Greger is dealing with how common deficiency is and that Cancer risks do go up if you live in areas of the country where there tends to be more deficiency.

      1. Plus, they are talking about how many years it takes to develop Cancer and Heart conditions to the point of having them become problems and the reality is that they did a study which is about half of the length of time for Cancer to move from cells to becoming something diagnosed and there was a small improvement both for Cancer and Heart Disease. I say that because they are pointing out accurately that the improvement isn’t big enough to call statistically significant, but the fact that they are less likely to die from Cancer tells me that the Cancer isn’t growing as quickly. Something GOOD happens to the Cancer process and it is possible that something good happens in the heart disease process, even if the people still receive a diagnosis.

        1. If Cancer really does work like they say it does, then, maybe Vitamin D slows the doubling time of Cancer, stopping the death part from happening as quickly. That is a pretty big deal to me.

          They did lung cancer studies and said that doubling time is what is related to prognosis. “Patients with the more rapidly growing tumors showed a tendency to have a poorer prognosis. It was confirmed that the doubling time of a tumor is an independent factor in the prognosis of lung cancer patients.”

          1. Isn’t it that we all have Cancer and slowing doubling time is the goal and prognosis unto death is what really matters?

            It changed the measure, which matters.

            1. I get that it could be doing something other than slowing the doubling time and that I am not a scientist or doctor.

              My mind processes:

              Everybody has Cancer.
              Didn’t stop a diagnosis.
              But they didn’t die.

              My brother has a mass. He told me today. And my seriously elderly, wonderful 87-year-old worker woke up with what they believe is a blood clot and is officially retired. Life happens so fast.

              1. You realize it’s sad (once you’re in the know) that most people (at least in the US) think that diseases are just a part of life and happen to everyone.

                It’s also sad that once you know most diseases could be prevented that you start to hear bad news from a different perspective. It goes from “aw man, can’t believe he died of a heart attack” to “yeah, of course he died of a heart attack”. It’s terrible.

            2. Sorry but why is everyone here capitalizing the word ‘cancer’? It’s a common noun! I keep noticing this trend lately. Doesn’t anyone remember learning about proper and common nouns in elementary school? Trump does this all the time. Just because a semi-literate president does it, does that mean everyone has to jump on the band wagon?

              1. My cell phone capitalizes it every time.

                I used to try to undo it 5 times in a row, and it would just automatically change it back every time, but now I leave it.

                It actually adds emphasis, so I don’t mind.

              2. Hey wise guy, maybe people like to capitalize words for stylistic reasons. It’s not a trend stated by Trump. Why would you even bring him into this? Are you one of these disgruntled, obsessed-over-hating-Trump types?

              3. Sorry but why is everyone here capitalizing the word ‘cancer’?
                ———————————————————————————
                Probably because it is often referred to as the Big “C”.

                1. I like the Big “C” and how could you possibly represent the Big “C” without a big “C” a little “c” just wouldn’t be the same.

              4. Gramar Vegan

                You are a guy/gal after my own heart. Keep fighting the good fight.

                After all, if we can’t get the little things right, why should anyone believe that we can get the big things right?

                  1. Tree

                    I don’t think so.

                    Why should anyone believe a group that is unable to communicate its message accurately and effectively in English? Cancer with a capital C is an astrological star sign while cancer with a small C is something altogether different. I’d like to think that we here actually know what we are talking about

                    It’s a small thing in the big scheme of things and, Heaven knows, I make plenty of keying errors and typos myself but why not at least aim to be accurate and correct to the best of our ability? Personally I have always associated overuse of capitalisation and constant underlining of words with groups and individuals that are not, shall we say, role models for rational thought and reasoned analysis of issues. Let’s not go there or say that it’s OK.

                1. Tom,

                  I like you very much and I love that you keep fighting that fight.

                  Glad to give you a few things to rail against.

                  Honestly, I used to hate it that my cell phone did that, but now I have come to enjoy the caps.

                  Easier to scan and see which comment I am at.

                  1. Thanks Deb You are very gracious.

                    Of course I would also like to see Dr Greger stop using adjectives in place of adverbs but he’s much more hip than I am so that’s probably not going to happen I suspect also that it is probably a deliberate choice to communicate the information in colloquial English rather than the grammatically correct English that might have more resonance with highly educated professionals.

                    1. Fumbles, there’s a big debate over the spelling of the “h” word:

                      From: https://painintheenglish.com/case/4246/

                      “You are all wrong. You all are using logic. But in fact the words heaven and hell, regardless of usage, are not to be capitalized. I was taught this in Christian school as a child. I believe In the third grade. Read the bible. You’ll see that they are not capitalized there either.”

                    2. Fumbles dear, you DO realize you misspelled “grammar,” don’t you?

                      Or are we to believe this was just a glaring…..fumble? ;-)

                    3. Thanks YR. That’s good for a chuckle

                      I am an atheist so I was just using it as a figure of speech.

                      TBH I don’t think there is any real debate about it It’s a specific mythical place and therefore the first letter ought to be capitalised

                      The Bible is basically irrelevant since grammar was rather different in those days and spelling was, well, variable. Bible types might argue the point I suppose but I am going with grammar rather than arguents based on a (to me) bizarre superatural belief system …. or what someone was told in some obscure school of religious indoctrination

                    4. Fumbles…..but what does all your blather about the B/bible have to do with the way you addressed Grammar Vegan? You wrote “Gramar.”

                      Color me confused.

                    5. YR
                      “Fumbles dear, you DO realize you misspelled “grammar,” don’t you?

                      Or are we to believe this was just a glaring…..fumble? ;-)”

                      My keyboard is failing – the ‘m’, period and comma keys no longer work. Nor does the ‘enter/return’ key for that matter. I do have an old plug-in keyboard which I use to tidy up comments before posting them but I sometimes miss needed edits. I will have to search down the back of the sofa to see if I can find enough pennies for a new laptop but for now I will have to make do with a very temperamental keyboard.

                    6. ” I will have to search down the back of the sofa to see if I can find enough pennies for a new laptop but for now I will have to make do with a very temperamental keyboard.”
                      – – – – –

                      I hereby suggest that NF set up a Fumbles Fund so that Fumbles can get himself a badly needed new laptop. One lousy dollar ($1.00) can be sent to wherever NF wants people to send bucks for THEIR fund raising.

                      If there are no takers (givers), I’m sure Dr. G. will be gracious enuf to transfer some of his bounty into the Fumbles Fund.

                      All in favor?

                      *crickets*

                    7. YR
                      “Fumbles…..but what does all your blather about the B/bible have to do with the way you addressed Grammar Vegan? You wrote “Gramar.”

                      Color me confused.”
                      -My blather about the Bible was in response to your other post which blathered on about how religious types used the (King James?) Bible to argue about how particular words ought to be spelt. It just so happens (because of the comment nesting system here) that it followed your post about my ‘grammar’ spelling error. It wasn’t intended as a response to that letter comment of yours. So it has absolutely nothing to do with your ‘gramar’ question.

                  1. “It just so happens (because of the comment nesting system here) that it followed your post about my ‘grammar’ spelling error. It wasn’t intended as a response to that letter comment of yours. So it has absolutely nothing to do with your ‘gramar’ question.”
                    – – – – – –

                    Whew! So glad we got all that convoluted posting worked out.

            3. We all have cancer is iffy. We all experience DNA damage and have free radicals forming every minute of our lives. I would refer to the article Hallmarks of Cancer if you haven’t read it.

              1. Thanks Casper!

                I will be interested.

                I have watched a few doctors perspectives on it and they all said that long before we get a tumor, there are Cancer cells. (Laughing, it just did it again. Must be that Apple thinks the caps version is more important. More annoying is that every single time I type prostAte Cancer, it also capitalizes the letter A.

                1. Casper, I think that it was the Japanese being autopsied, which Dr Greger pointed to as where researchers found Cancer, even though it never affected the people’s lives. That was a long time ago, but I think it could have been Okinawa because they had risk factors, but never “got” Cancer.

                  1. It might have been an IGF-1 video, but I am less certain of that. I think the whole point was that there were Cancer cells, but they weren’t growing fast.

                    Dr McDougall said that changing our diets might not always shrink tumors, but we can change the doubling time and the longer the doubling time, the more likely that we will survive longer.

                    1. Wow, Casper, that is a great article. I can only digest it a little bit at a time.

                      But Vitamin D could affect one of these things in the list, but which ones:

                      “The hallmarks of cancer comprise six biological capabilities acquired during the multistep development of human tumors. The hallmarks constitute an organizing principle for rationalizing the complexities of neoplastic disease. They include sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppressors, resisting cell death, enabling replicative immortality, inducing angiogenesis, and activating invasion and metastasis. Underlying these hallmarks are genome instability, which generates the genetic diversity that expedites their acquisition, and inflammation, which fosters multiple hallmark functions. Conceptual progress in the last decade has added two emerging hallmarks of potential generality to this list—reprogramming of energy metabolism and evading immune destruction. In addition to cancer cells, tumors exhibit another dimension of complexity: they contain a repertoire of recruited, ostensibly normal cells that contribute to the acquisition of hallmark traits by creating the “tumor microenvironment.”

                      Okay, let’s start with

                      Vitamin D Supplementation might reverse DNA Damage and Telomere shortening.
                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29730834

                      Vitamin D Improves Mitochondrial function (Might be good, since they consider it a Mitochondrial Disease):
                      https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/practice-management/news/online/%7B4b5c8b84-70c2-4928-a7b0-88f24f50d609%7D/vitamin-d-supplementation-enhanced-mitochondrial-function-lessened-fatigue

                      Growth Inhibition of Cancer and induces apoptosis:
                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10786699

                      Well, I am out of time, so I have to cut this process short, but as of December 1st of this year, they are linking circulating Vitamin D with prolonged survival in ProstAte Cancer.

                    2. Vitamin D Supplementation lowers pain and infection in Cancer patients. Lowering infection is a big deal to me. My mother had Cancer, but it was an infection she died from.

                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5578640/

                      “After 1 month the vitamin D treated group had a significantly decreased fentanyl dose compared to the untreated group with a difference of 46 μg/h; 95% CI 24–78, which increased further at 3 months to 91 μg/h; 95% CI 56–140 μg/h. The ESAS QoL-score improved in the Vitamin D group the first month; -1.4; 95% CI -2.6 – (-0.21). The vitamin D-treated group had significantly lower consumption of antibiotics after 3 months compared to the untreated group, the difference was -26%; 95%CI -0.41%–(-0.12%).”

                      That is a really cool result. Less pain. That is fascinating. How does Vitamin D supplementation decrease pain?

                    3. Maybe it decreases inflammation?

                      Does inflammation cause pain? It is either that or we go back to the blocked arteries hitting the nerves.

                      Found this “When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body from foreign substances. … Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling. This protective process may stimulate nerves and cause pain.”

                      Okay, I looked up Vitamin D and inflammation and it is a which came first the chicken or the egg type of question, but infection might be the link.

                      “An infectious pathogenesis posits that intracellular bacteria disrupt the vitamin D regulated immune system, resulting in persistent infection and chronic inflammation. In the clinical setting, a novel immunotherapy is demonstrating the ability to resolve vitamin D metabolism dysfunction, restore immune function, and thus, eliminate infection and reduce inflammation. This review ponders the question, “Is low 25(OH)D a cause of, or a consequence of inflammation?” The answer is found in the evidence that adds persistent intracellular infection to the equation.”

                      It is an interesting question, but I still just go back to less pain, fewer infections, less likely to die is already pretty good.

                      I feel like the whole premise of the studies thinking that it would have caused people to not have Cancer was flawed to begin with and by looking at it that way, they are going to succeed in getting people to not take it, but I am still feeling pretty inspired by it.

        2. Deb, my personal long held idea of Cancer has been that if it should metastasize is when you are a goner. I also remember the grown-ups saying that “they opened him up to see if he had cancer and after that it just spread like wildfire and he died soon after.”

          I’ve later wondered if that may have been true and that “opening the patient up” didn’t cause new blood vessels to form in order to promote healing to the wound, and enabled the cancer to spread.

          1. Lonie,

            That is a good point. Cool! Thanks!

            I am adding it to my list and will check if Vitamjn D affects that part of Cancer development.

            Cancer going MTOR, I think was a Dr Greger video.

              1. Okay, so I am going to hypothesize that doing studies of “got diagnosed with Cancer” is a less useful study than “affects the growth of Cancer” at this point because people are throwing the Vitamin D Supplement baby out with the Macro study bathwater.

                Yes, I am not a scientist and don’t know if there are such things as Macromanaging, but the doctors and press say, “Nope, it doesn’t do very much with Cancer” or some wide sweeping sentence like that and people never hear “decrease pain, fewer infections, less likely to die, might inhibit mTOR or some other cool thing.

    1. Hello Daniel and Kathy,
      I’m a family doc, and a volunteer for this website. Quick answer about blueberry tea. Celestial Seasonings makes a tea called “True Blueberry” which tastes good, and is fairly inexpensive. It’s not organic though. Your can just Google “organic blueberry tea” and come up with several options, e.g. “Highland Organics”; they all cost quite a bit more, though.
      Dr. Jon
      https:PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
      Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org.

      1. I too am looking for the blueberry tea that was used in the studies, like so much that is on this website, the actually ability to duplicate this for a consumer is impossible as the type of product, the name of the product, the mg of use is many times never shown…I have even looked at the studies on line and could not find this information. Most of the teas that are mentioned list blueberry flavoring, or it is the 6 ot 7th ingredient which means it is not really blueberry tea but has some blueberry in it. I have then gone the pure, blueberry powder route and have hit a wall as well…with many ‘organic’ dried powder coming from far east, india so have little faith they are organic. Frustrated , wanting to follow your wonderful information but not able to.

        1. Hi Teresa, should have made my other commeny a “reply” to yours – see my comment an recommendation for organic blueberries from Washington state.

        2. Teresa,
          You are correct. I hereby withdraw my recommendation for “True Blueberry” tea from Celestial Seasonings, because there is very little actual blueberry in the tea. I just did an extensive search for blueberry tea, and found virtually none of them with any substantial amount of blueberries in them. I then searched for blueberry powders, and found several different organic ones. Here are two that are from the US:
          1) https://www.organicblueberrytea.com/product-page/bulk-blue-smoothie-powder — from HIghland Organics
          2) https://nuts.com/driedfruit/blueberries/organic-powder.html — from Nuts.com

          In terms of serving size, it seems like one tablespoon is the most frequent recommendation.
          I hope this helps.
          Dr. Jon
          PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
          Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org

          1. Teresa, I found the blueberry powders online as well, but as Dr Jon mentions, 1 tbsp equates to approximately 1/2 cup blueberries. What this means is that the test results are meaningless to a great many people who can not afford, or even access, 1/2cup of blueberries daily year round, nor the powders that cost approx $30 per 100 grams (that would last maybe 2 weeks) .

            There are other berries that are higher in anthocyanins, and there are some surprising sources in the vegetable group too., as well as much higher antioxidant fruit/vegies. Dr Greger keeps knocking statins BUT, there are those who follow a wfpb diet and still have high cholesterol. The price of adding not organic frozen blueberries for 2 people is unreasonable here. .. not sustainable. Either wfpb works, or it doesn’t.

          1. Based on the amount of anthocyanins they report, it would be about 1 teaspoon of dried blueberry powder in 8 ounces of water. They noted it was then brewed for 5 minutes.

            Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

      2. Celestial Seasonings makes a tea called “True Blueberry” which tastes good, and is fairly inexpensive.
        ——————————————————————————
        This is the one I drink… at least one cup a day and sometimes two or three. I also eat frozen wild blueberries 2, 3, or 4 times a week.

        Additionally, I take a supplement containing pterostilbene, an analogue of resveratrol that is many more times absorbable by the body and is found in blueberries.

        Previous videos from here on NF.o + other related studies have made blueberries my number one supplement/food.

        1. Forgot to mention I also drink a small amount of Just blueberry juice mixed with Tart Cherry juice and beet root juice daily, and an occasional cup of Organic Raw Chocolate with a mixed powder of fruit blends that also contains blueberry.

          It’s a wonder I haven’t turned into a blue smurf. ‘-)

          1. Laughing.

            People turn Orange if they drink too much carrot juice. You just need to try harder.

            Which Smurf name will you want to be called by?

            Papa Smurf is the only name I can remember. I must still have a father complex.

            1. Which Smurf name will you want to be called by?

              Papa Smurf is the only name I can remember.
              —————————————————————–
              Heh, to be honest, I think I watched one smurf show in all my TV watching, so I’m not familiar enough with them to know any of their names. ‘-)

              1. Laughing, I hated the Smurf’s, and could never say why. Maybe they reminded me of the blueberry girl in Willie Wonka or the Oompa Loompa’s ate the blueberry gum?

        1. Tree of Life,
          I don’t know for sure, but based on numerous other studies I’ve seen on this website which compare the nutritional value of fresh whole foods to those that are canned, cooked, dried, or otherwise processed, my guess is that actual blueberries are superior. But dried blueberry powder is certainly easier to store and transport. Dr. Jon.

      3. Dr. Jon, Here is a list of the ingredients in Celestial Seasoning blueberry tea: “Hibiscus, rosehips, orange peel, natural blueberry flavor with other natural flavors, blackberry leaves, wild blueberries and blueberry leaves.” (http://www.celestialseasonings.com/products/herbal/true-blueberry-herbal-tea). Since the ingredients are listed in order by weight, from the highest to the lowest, it appears that there is very little actual blueberries in this tea. Plus, I don’t know what “natural blueberry flavor with other natural flavors” means, but there are apparently more of these by weight than actual blueberries.

        I personally prefer to avoid “natural flavors;” they’re basically extracts of the original plant material, presumably with a high concentration of molecules that have a “blueberry” (or other) flavor. I’ve extracted lots of plant materials in the lab; I wouldn’t drink any of them. I prefer to drink a hot water extract of the original plant material — aka, tea without additives.

        1. You are correct. I (uncharacteristically) fired off a quick reply about what would be a good brand of blueberry tea, before carefully reading the transcript and checking the references. See my other comment, in response to Teresa. It seems that to make a tea that actually contains significant blueberry amounts, you need to use blueberry powder. Of course, eating whole blueberries would probably be even better, but blueberry powder (used in making the tea in the study cited by Dr. G) is obviously easier to store, and transport.

          Dr. Jon

        2. I would not drink that tea as who knows what “natural flavors” are. Also hibiscus blunts estrogen and I am in menopause and was wondering why I broke out sweating every time I drank it. Too bad, good for BP.

          1. Sandra, where is there evidence suggesting that hibiscus has a negative effect on estrogen? I would be surprised if Dr. Greger never mentioned that if such a concern existed since he’s long recommended the tea. Maybe information has been misconstrued… in soy for example, it selectively impacts estrogen by raising it where we need it and lowering it where we don’t.

        3. Here is a list of the ingredients in Celestial Seasoning blueberry tea: “Hibiscus, rosehips, orange peel, natural blueberry flavor with other natural flavors, blackberry leaves, wild blueberries and blueberry leaves.”
          ———————————————————————————————————————-
          Confess to being a little disappointed after reading an earlier poster suggesting Celestial Seasoning True Blueberry has very little actual blueberry. But after reading the above list of ingredients I am relieved to read what the tea actually contains.

          But I am puzzled why blackberry leaves and blueberry leaves are included. Does anyone have any knowledge of the health benefits of these leaves.

          I’ve seen the same thing with Olive leaf supplements… just wondering if this is some sort of association gimmick or if there are actual health benefits from the leaves of these otherwise highly regarded fruits.

          1. hi Lonie, funny you mention the leaves.. a couple of years ago while checking sources for a video about blueberries/anti oxidants, I came across one that was researching highest antioxidant levels. Blackberries and black raspberries had blueberries beat , and I was amazed to see that the leaves of each of these plants were even richer sources still than the berries. If I come across it in my travels, I will be sure to post it. We are travelling tomorrow so I can’t do more now, but I hope that helps a bit.

            1. Blackberries and black raspberries had blueberries beat , and I was amazed to see that the leaves of each of these plants were even richer sources still than the berries. … I hope that helps a bit.
              ——————————————————————————————————-
              Barb, that bit of information helps enormously as it means I will continue my Celestial Seasonings True Blueberry consumption. Thanks!

    2. I love Blueberry Tea (the cocktail) I only wish they used blueberry teabags. Celestial Seasoning makes, (or made – I haven’t bought it in some time) Blueberry Herbal Tea.

  2. I wonder at what age it’s safe to introduce Goji Berries… in no rush, since I have concerns over its impact on Kidneys and Liver. But couldn’t find anything on an appropriate age.

    Really wish there were more nutritional research and trials out there regarding kids under 2 years.

      1. They could do the studies in China and possibly get enough people already giving their kids Goji Berries for the trial. I’m pretty sure most Chinese parents are not, because I believe they view GBs more as treatment option.

        I’d love to here from someone on this board who is from China, or understands GBs from tradition and experience.

        Personally, I consume 1 TBSP OGBs per day in my oatmeal, which is probably excessive since AMD (don’t have it yet) has responded well to even 1 tsp daily. I haven’t had any issues yet over the past 5 years, and blood work looks fine so who knows.

        I’ll probably hold off on my LO until she’s a teen. LoL

                1. S,

                  You don’t have anything to worry about.

                  I genuinely was just making a word play joke with that silly comment and didn’t mean to aim it at anybody at all. Genuinely, I posted it and then a half hour later had the thought that people will worry that it is aimed at them and honestly, everybody on this site is pretty good. Not even many snarky people.

                  1. Honestly,

                    My brother having a mass and my father having moved away and my worker having blood clots and my best friends having Cancer, Diabetes and Heart Problems and my cousin needing a Kidney Transplant, and my dog having Cancer and me having Brain problems and my phone liking all-caps…. I am vulnerable right now and I understand the Bible talks about giving a cup of water or visiting a prisoner or helping the poor or comforting the afflicted. Anyone just smiling or being nice is like winning the lotto right now.

                    1. The Bible talks about how people celebrate together and go through sad things alone, but I have a worker who decades ago someone told us that he was embezzling but every member of my family voted to keep him and he has stepped up and is carrying the weight of ten people right now.

                    2. Aww, that is sweet, Deb! But I was really just joking around, I didn’t think anything about your comment. I agree, generally, the people on this site are pretty great even when there are disagreements. I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate the thoughts and information you share and you’re always very pleasant, so sorry to hear about all the negativity and I hope things get better for your fur baby, family, and you! I’m sorry about the brain issues you’ve been dealing with but I have to say, you have more intelligent things to say than a lot of the people I know who do not presently have brain issues going on! You seem to be doing very well from my perspective. Good luck with everything. And here is a smile! :)

    1. I would be interested in the answer to this question as well.

      If Dried Blueberry = Blueberry – Water, then one would think that you get all the benefits. What I read most about dried fruits in general is that they have a high caloric density compared to fresh undried fruit hence it is easy to eat too much and as a result, gain weight. Wishful thinking might be to just drink a glass of water with your dried fruit to avoid the weight gain but something tells me the body doesn’t work that way… in that it metabolizes dried fruit differently than fresh fruit and you cannot fool it by just drinking water with your dried fruit ;)

    2. This study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082901/ addressed this issue. They found no difference in the antioxidant properties of dried vs fresh blueberries. As noted, it’s easy to overeat dried fruit bc they’re so tiny and sweet. If you include dried fruit, eat about the same number of berries dried or fresh, not the same as measured in cups, for example.

      Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  3. Shop ebay for various powdered berries and whisk them together in water or kombucha. Much more convenient, potent, and convenient than fresh berries.

    1. M85, the carnivore diet is a marketing ‘thing’. People have to decide for themselves if they want to believe the science or a marketing ploy.

  4. According to the study materials cited by Dr. Gregor (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.2217/clp.14.26?needAccess=true&) the tea was “pulverized blueberry tea” that had been steeped for five minutes. The tea was prepared specifically for this study by Ege University Food Engineering Faculty. No recipe was offered and I can’t find any further details on the tea itself.

    Perhaps smashing some blueberries and steeping them in hot water may yield similar results, but it’s merely a guess since I don’t know exactly what was in that tea.

    1. Perhaps smashing some blueberries and steeping them in hot water…
      ———————————————————————————————–
      So many unanswered questions. Like, does steeping in hot water offer benefits (of nutrition) over steeping for however long in cold (room temperature) water?

      Methinks some of these scientists need to run their studies by some ordinary people before starting the study.

    1. YR, I was surprised by the chart presented in the video at the 53 sec mark where it shows blueberries having significantly more anthocyanins than the other berries and foods shown. So it’s natural to expect great benefits from this food. However, in a previous NF video from 2013, Cranberries are the superstar for fighting cancer, at least compared to the other fruits shown in that video.

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-fruit-fights-cancer-better/

      Bottom line, for good overall health, eat a wide variety of nutritionally dense plant foods!

      1. Yes WFPB-Hal, I remember the cranberries as superstars, and also, amla, (though again that is most often a powder.) Garlic got the best anti-cancer vegie spot if I recall, and red cabbage was best antioxidant bang for the buck! I thought of that today while making a pot of vegan borsht.. the colour is gorgeous, but not entirely from anthocyanins apparently. Beets get their colour from betalain, another antioxidant.

        The question I have is, would these food intercessions (like the use of blueberry tea, amla, apples etc for lowering cholesterol for example) that Dr Greger has spoken about in the past work on people already eating a wfpb diet? I see the wonderful results in the videos, but is it because the test subjects might have a less than stellar diet to begin with?

        1. I don’t see how they wouldn’t do the body great even in a body already in great health, the differences shown just might not be so dramatic because they don’t need to be. But I can’t imagine the food would do them any less wonders, some unforeseen, I personally suspect.

          1. Barb,

            The only thing that I will say is that, in studies, not everybody responds the same.

            It is worth trying it if you have cholesterol problems as someone who is WFPB.

          1. Sure Nancy, though I just throw it all in the pot, here is a recipe that is close to what I do. I don’t use oil, and I used about half a smaller red cabbage, about a tbsp of dill greens I store in the freezer, and about a tbsp of lemon juice instead of the quantities shown for those things. Adjust to your taste! I hope you enjoy it!

                  1. hey Tree of Life, lol no ! My post was only showing the CHANGES I made to the recipe – which I then inadvertently forgot to post! I was too lazy to write out my own recipe so I found one close and just wanted to mention the changes I personally enjoy making to it. I like a fresh bright taste to borsht.. hope you like it!

      2. it shows blueberries having significantly more anthocyanins than the other berries and foods shown. So it’s natural to expect great benefits from this food. However, in a previous NF video from 2013, Cranberries are the superstar for fighting cancer, at least compared to the other fruits shown in that video.
        ———————————————————————————————————-
        Hal, agreed a variety of foods are important, but IMO we should give added weight to certain ones… blueberries in this case. The reason I give is that blueberries contain a resveratrol analogue called pterostilbene that is much more absorbable than actual resveratrol itself. A quote and link to the research referenced is below:
        ____________________________________________________________________
        “The researchers applied compounds called (sic) reversatrol analogues, chemicals based on a substance naturally found in red wine, dark chocolate, red grapes and blueberries, to cells in culture. The chemicals caused splicing factors, which are progressively switched off as we age to be switched back on. Within hours, the cells looked younger and started to rejuvenate, behaving like young cells and dividing.”

        https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/research/title_620529_en.html

    2. Trotting out the little blue guys again, are we? :-)
      ——————————————————————
      Reading this post is what caused me to reference the Blue Smurfs in one of my posts. ‘-)

  5. I have no affiliation with them (well, other than as a fan and customer), but here’s a great source for all things blueberry: BowHillBlueberries.com – they have organic heirloom blueberries. Make your own powdered blueberry tea. I’ve visited the farm, just 30 minutes from me here in Washington state (lucky me!).

    1. That is nice that you live near a farm.

      What occurs to me is that I have dear, dear lifelong friends who have a blueberry farm who have been trying to get me to visit during blueberry season for decades.

      Some of us didn’t really like blueberries well enough to drive there for that.

      I see them every holiday and one is fast approaching but maybe someday I really do need to see their blueberries.

    2. Laura, thanks for mentioning that company. Hadn’t heard of them before.
      Visited the website, liked what I saw, and ordered.
      (I came, I saw, I ordered.)

    1. Be, that vimergy seems to be the most authentic andconcentrated blueberry powder whereas others I checked had more blueberry flavoring and additional ingredients but vimergy is so expensive!

    2. I’ve been doing Wyman for years but it kinda bothers me they’re not organic. I looked into it a few years back and seems they don’t spray that heavily or need as much based on the nature of how these wild ones grow. Not sure if that’s BS though.

      I’ve been buying WF 365 Organic BB lately. Like them better since they’re bigger like your conventional BB and have that juicy pop. Feel better about Organic, and I’ll take the hit on the Antioxidant level for the O in this case.

      1. I posted about Wyman’s blueberries (which I’ve been adding to my morning gruel) in the comment section of the last blueberry video. I contacted the company and asked why not organic and they said they planned to offer an organic version during 2019.

        Just because I contacted them, they nicely sent me two freebie coupons, both worth around $12. So I got two large bags that had been discounted from $12 to $11 or so. It’s great to get freebies once in a while! :-)

        1. YR, that’s really cool you did that and awesome news! I love when people reach out to companies, it really let’s them know there’s a demand for organics and such and helps create change. I’m so glad to hear another company is going organic and contrast on the freebies! LOVE when that happens :)

          1. Don’t worry, Lonie….I aim’t gonna shoot you. I’d probably miss anyway, and hit my foot instead.

            Several years ago I read an eye-opening book about this guy who traveled here and there — even out of the country — trying to find out if various companies claiming to hold the organic label truly were indeed organic. And how they managed to “arrange” the label in the first place. (Who was in bed with who/m, in other words.) Wish I could remember the title!

            More on so-called organic foods: https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/05/organic-food-false-labeling/

            I do try to buy organic, but when I don’t, I let them soak in a white vinegar and/or baking soda solution. Whether this truly does the job or not, I BELIEVE it does. And so it does. :-)

            https://www.consumerreports.org/pesticides-herbicides/easy-way-to-remove-pesticides/

          2. Lonie,

            I already want to argue with them.

            They are saying that it takes more land, which means that people have to do a deforestation of more land, and that logic is the logic that I am challenging. Are the farmers who switch to organic cutting down trees or something?

            Maybe my mind is too broken to follow it.

            I don’t have “organic plant food fields” versus “forests” I have “organic plant food fields” versus “chemical plant food fields” and I can’t think of almost any farms where they are cutting down the trees. They are cultivating the soils and adding plants.

            Am I missing something?

            1. To me, poisoning the land and making it unusable eventually might make it so that we really will need to cut down the trees to find actual untainted soil eventually.

              1. Deb, I’m not going to get into this with Lonie (in fact I won’t even read replies to this comment because I know they’ll be coming), he’s argued pro GMO’s before on this website and I refuse to spend my time on this, but you’re absolutely right. Organic is the healthiest way and best way and most sustainable way for everyone. You can list the reasons and cite the evidence in a long list form and go through them like peeling away layer after layer until you get down to the base of it which it just simply comes down to… common sense; basic logic. It’s a no brainer.

                As for worrying about labels, I wouldn’t worry about fake labels unless things are from China. Certified organic labels have to follow strict guidelines (in fact, this is why some organic farms aren’t certified because it is a hassle and it’s costly, so you have to have the means and be in proper distance of things, etc.) whether from the U.S, Mexico, etc. But the problem with China, from my understanding, is they do not allow for foreign inspectors and have been caught basically lying to put it quickly. That isn’t to say there aren’t some legit organic farms in China. And clearly the organic label works well enough that when people were put on organic food for a period of time, the pesticides in their blood went away as shown in a video somewhere around here on nutritionfacts. Now, I doubt those people were just eating like backyard grown kale for weeks. My guess is they were given purchased foods that were certified organic.

                GMO’s and all that are right there along side animal agriculture, these are the richest corporations and even play a big role in controlling the media, the government, etc. I’d say you’d have to take their propaganda with a grain of salt large enough to induce a heart attack on the spot.

            2. They are saying that it takes more land, which means that people have to do a deforestation of more land, and that logic is the logic that I am challenging.
              ————————————————————————–
              Agreed. When I read that I thought it was a stretch and that they were simply trying to pump up the global warming aspect without anything to back that part of it up. If they had simply went with the single idea of organics being less productive than chemical farming I think they were on somewhat solid ground.

              That’s not to say that organic food isn’t better and may even be more warming friendly than chemical farmed. That is, what are the climate change costs from creating the chemicals, especially fertilizers, to feed non-organic crops? It would be a huge undertaking to actually make a fair and all-encompassing comparison IMO.

              I guess it is difficult to do vertical greenhouse organic farming but I would probably be o.k. with a non-organic version of food from that as an alternative to organic.

    3. I like wild blueberries, Wyman frozen, and wild blueberry powder from Vimergy
      ——————————————————————————————————-
      I buy the Wyman frozen as well. Seems to be a much more affordable way of getting wild blueberry nourishment than the powder you mentioned. At my local Superstore I get a 3 lb. bag of the frozens for a little over $10.

      Not sure how that would stack up against a 8.8 ounce $50 bag of the powder, but could be comparable if we only knew how many of the actual blueberries it takes to be dried into an 8.8 ounce heap.

    1. That’s an interesting question E, and I was surprised at the answer I found at the link George provided, above. It’s a download file .. a paper showing test results of a group of foods tested for anthocyanins. The grapes tested positive of course, but I was surprrosed to see that dried fruits including raisins, dates and prunes, did not. I haven’t read the whole paper carefully yet, but I suspect the processing destroys the anthocyanins.. in which case, re blueberry powfer, buyer beware!

    1. Easy, and sounds very good! I think Numi tea has a hibiscus blend with dry freezes blueberry powder if I’m remembering correctly. I never saw it in stores and I never ordered any, but that sounded really good to me.

  6. Totally unrelated but a lot of the veggie processed foods, like Morningstar Farms have gone nonGMO soy and no artificial colors or flavors and are now vegan.

    It is a start.

  7. So I’m tired here, but could I take from this that you could regularly consume something like blueberry tea for 6 months and it would take months after stopping before the benefits left you? If this is so, I am feeling very well stocked in antioxidants at this point.

    1. but could I take from this that you could regularly consume something like blueberry tea for 6 months and it would take months after stopping before the benefits left you? If this is so, I am feeling very well stocked in antioxidants at this point.
      ————————————————————————————-
      Sounds like the message we were to get from the video, but I remember an earlier one that showed benefits that spiked after a certain period of time later when consuming blueberries.

      I’m guessing the point in this video was that in re: heart health you still retain the benefits after stopping consumption.

  8. Dr. Thomas Levy, MD (cardiologist for over 30 years) wrote a book entitled Stop America’s #1 Killer. This book references 650 studies published in peer-reviewed medical / science journals which prove that atherosclerosis (plaque in arteries) is caused by multiple, nutritional deficiencies. On Page 253 Dr. Levy states, “The following supplement regimen is recommended for optimizing the ability of the artery to regenerate itself and reverse any existing atherosclerosis. The typical diet does not even come close to supplying enough of these essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.” As a person with a family history of heart disease, I have been taking these nutrients for 10 years. At 64 years of age my arteries are “clean a whistle” (quote from my doctor). I am on a mission to spread the good news. Email me (rayellis@reagan.com) and I will send you Dr. Levy’s list of nutrients and their proper, daily doses.

  9. A whole host of risk reducing cited here but as usual inflamation etc are not the key devils, good old LDL is the magic bullet as usual. Could it be that inflamation reduced and LDL was simply not needed in quantity ?

  10. But then there are all these people like myself.
    I’m 47 and I’ve been a healthy eater vegan (very little junk vegan) for 13 years, but the last 3 of those I transitioned to WFPB. I eat plenty of blueberries every single day (either fresh on oatmeal or frozen in a smoothie, or both!), i eat 2 tablespoons of flaxseed every day, I eat indian gooseberry (amla), I take 4 brazil nuts once a month, and I eat all Whole Plant foods. I stay away or don’t eat oil at all. I don’t have salt or sugar.
    Yet my total cholesterol sits at 200-228 and never changes.
    Plus, I had a Calcium CT heart scan, and it put me in the 96% percentile for my age, weight and sex!
    What can I possibly be doing wrong? Or do I just have a body that needs to make a ton of cholesterol?

    I have been searching to see what the cause might be, it’s too low to be Hypercholesterolemia, but too high to be normal. Yet nothing affects it.

    I just read about Macrophages being the central cause of plaque buildup and calcification and inflammation of the endothelial and vascular system. So are my powerful immune system Macrophages the cause? Turning against me? They say they perform 1 of 2 functions: either cleaning up cholesterol and inflammation, or oxidizing cholesterol and CAUSING inflammation. How can that be? Why would this turn on the body and want to hurt it, when all we’ve ever heard is: “The body has a miraculous ability to heal itself, and all it wants is to achieve homeostasis”.

    Yet mine doesn’t?

    1. My *ahem* psychic hunch is that a lot of what we thought was true will someday be shown to be …..not so true.

      (“Our cells are always listening.” They are eager to act according to the positive or negative thoughts we send to them.)

    2. Hi, Mike K. It is true that a small percentage of the population has elevated serum cholesterol, even with an ideal diet, and genetic factors are being identified. You did not say how much of your total cholesterol is HDL, and how much is LDL. That makes a difference in the implications of your numbers. If you are a coffee drinker, quitting coffee might lower your cholesterol. More on that here: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/does-coffee-affect-cholesterol/ There are studies suggesting that replacing coffee with green tea may be even more beneficial.
      You didn’t say whether or not you are overweight, or have recently lost a lot of weight. Being overweight or losing weight quickly can raise cholesterol numbers, and also increase inflammation. If it is from rapid weight loss, it should eventually resolve. If it is from excess body fat, then slow weight loss may help.
      Yes, macrophages are involved in the role cholesterol plays in cardiovascular disease risk. Fenugreek seeds or fenugreek sprouts might be beneficial. In general, polyphenols from deeply colored, purplish foods promote paraoxonase, which can attenuate this effect. Regular moderate exercise can balance immune function, as well. If you don’t already use nutritional yeast, and you tolerate it well, adding it to foods should increase the beta-glucan and niacin content of your diet, which could also be beneficial. I hope that helps!

      1. Thank you so much for the response!

        I am not a coffee drinker, never really have been.
        My cholesterol is about 170-190 LDL and 16-29 (rarely, usually lower) HDL (which is ridiculously low and also odd.
        I never lose any weight, no matter what I do.
        It just sits at 178-ish. I’m 5’10”, which makes my BMI in the just slightly “overweight” category. (25.5 BMI) I walk and hike 5-10 miles a day with my dog, every single day, sometimes (many times) up to 15 miles.

        My situation has just been baffling. I don’t fall into any “normal” or specific category.
        Nothing with my cardiac or cholesterol makes any sense.

        I suffer from acute PTSD and have way too much cortisol pumping through my system.
        I’m pretty sure that’s the culprit.
        I believe that having a sympathetic nervous system that goes gang b 24/7 and a parasite nervous system that doesn’t function, has to have huge problematic fallout.

        Thank you again, I appreciate all your thoughts on this.

  11. After listening to the video on the benefits of blueberry tea, I’ve found that on most products, blueberries is the very last ingredient in the tea mixture. All of the teas are mixed with at least four- five other leaves.
    My question is in the line of tea ingredients where should blueberries be ranked in order to achieve good health results? And can you give a name brand that you might recommend.

  12. Wow! Just 2 radishes are equivalent to half a cup of blueberries! What strange instinct is it that has for years caused me to add two radishes to my smoothie each day?

  13. I have been struggling to find a good source for blueberry tea (the kind that was used in the studies Doctor Greger reported on). Can anyone share a link on Amazon, please? I live in India so whole foods won’t cut it. Thanks heaps.

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