Ole Miss researchers find blood pressure benefit

By Daily Journal Reports

University of Mississippi researchers have discovered that a compound found naturally in blueberries reduced blood pressure in adults.
The researchers from Ole Miss schools of pharmacy and medicine presented their findings on a form of pterostilbene at the American Heart Association’s 2012 Scientific Sessions on High Blood Pressure Research in Washington on Thursday.
The randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study aimed to find if compound improves cardiovascular health. Ole Miss has secured patents on the compound, marketed as pTeroPure, and licensed it to ChromaDex Corp.
Investigators evaluated the ingredient in 80 patients with high cholesterol. Twice daily for six to eight weeks, participants received either high doses of pterostilbene, low doses of pterostilbene, pterostilbene with grape extract, or a placebo, said Daniel M. Riche, the study’s principal investigator. Investigators assessed patients’ blood pressure, body weight and blood lipids at the beginning and end of their participation in the study.
“We found reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients who received the high dose of pterostilbene and reduced systolic blood pressure in patients who received the low dose of pterostilbene with grape extract,” said Riche, an assistant professor of pharmacy practice and medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
Participants in the high-dose pterostilbene group achieved significant reductions in blood pressure compared to placebo: 7.8 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 7.3 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.
The only change in lipids was an increase in LDL cholesterol with pterostilbene, which was less among participants already on cholesterol-lowering medication and was not seen among those who also received the grape extract.
Along with Dr. Marion Wofford, professor of medicine, the study’s co-investigators include Justin J. Sherman, associate professor of pharmacy practice; Michael E. Griswold, director of UMMC’s Center for Biostatistics; and Krista D. Riche, clinical pharmacy specialist at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson.