Tart cherries are a particularly rich source of anthocyanins. Evidence indicates that dietary intake of anthocyanins is inversely associated with arterial stiffness. We conducted an open-label randomised placebo controlled study to determine whether a tart cherry juice concentrate (Cherry Active®) reduced arterial stiffness, inflammation and risk markers for cardiovascular disease in 47 healthy adults (30–50 years). Participants consumed 30 ml of cherry concentrate diluted to a volume of 250 ml with water or the same volume of an energy matched control drink daily for six weeks. Measurements were taken at baseline and at the end of the intervention. There was no effect of the intervention on arterial stiffness (P = 0.218), c-reactive protein (P = 0.220), systolic blood pressure (P = 0.163), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.121), total cholesterol (P = 0.342) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.127). At the end of the intervention, plasma antioxidant capacity (measured as the ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP)) was significantly higher in the intervention group than the control group (P = 0.012). We conclude that a tart cherry juice concentrate rich in anthocyanins has no effect on arterial stiffness, c-reactive protein and risk markers for cardiovascular disease, but evokes a minor increase in antioxidant status in healthy adults.
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AL and MEB designed the study and wrote the manuscript. JR carried out the statistical analysis. SM, CTM, ER and VS were responsible for data collection. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. We thank Cherry Active, Sunbury UK for supplying the cherry juice. We are grateful to all our volunteers for their time and commitment.
The study was funded by Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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