Diabetes is a common condition that affects more than four million people in the UK, and 90% of cases are caused by type 2 diabetes. The condition is caused by the pancreas not producing enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin. Without enough of the hormone, the body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into useable energy.
Montmorency Cherries effective in lowering blood pressure
British researchers are now suggesting that consuming montmorency tart cherries improves certain conditions known to be precursors to type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. These set of conditions is known as metabolic syndrome and includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Hertfordshire and published recently in the Journal of Functional Foods. They found that the participants experienced lowered systolic blood pressure and reduced insulin in their bloodstream after consuming Montmorency tart cherry in either juice of capsule form compared to a placebo.
The 6 week trial included participants both male and female aged between 37 and 61, and they had to have 3 out of 5 of the criteria for metabolic syndrome. Participants were given Montmorency tart cherry juice (30ml of juice in 130ml of water), Montmorency tart cherry capsules (10 capsules to match anthocyanin content of the juice) or a placebo drink. The juice contained the equivalent of 90 to 110 whole tart cherries while the capsules were make from about 100 whole tart cherries.
The researchers wrote in their paper:
"Montmorency tart cherry juice is an effective, low risk intervention for reducing systolic blood pressure in various populations and should be considered for individuals with isolated systolic hypertension."
"This study demonstrated for the first time that Montmorency tart cherry capsules could reduce insulin concentrations in humans."
Adding: "The unique composition of tart cherries, including the synergistic influence of anthocyanin, other polyphenols and fiber may be a factor."
Terun Desai, lead author of the study concluded:
"Global rates of metabolic syndrome are on the rise and the results of the present study suggest Montmorency tart cherries, in juice of capsule form, could exert beneficial effects for adults with this condition when incorporated into an overall healthy diet."