Effects of Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus Cerasus L.) consumption on vascular function in males with early hypertension

Karen Keane, Trevor George, Costas Constantinou, Meghan Brown, Tom Clifford, Glyn Howatson

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70 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Tart cherries contain numerous polyphenolic compounds that could potentially improve endothelial function and reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Objective: To examine the acute effects of tart Montmorency cherry juice on vascular function in subjects with early hypertension. Design: A placebo-controlled, blinded, cross-over, randomised Latin square design study with a wash-out period of at least 14 days was conducted. Fifteen males with early hypertension [systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 130 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≤ 80 mmHg, or both] received either a 60 mL dose of a Montmorency tart cherry concentrate (MC) or a placebo (PLA). Microvascular reactivity (laser Doppler imaging with iontophoresis), arterial stiffness [pulse wave velocity, pulse wave analysis], blood pressure and phenolic acid absorption was assessed at baseline and 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8 h following consumption. Results: MC consumption significantly lowered SBP (P <0.05) over a period of 3 h, with peak reductions of 7 ± 3 mmHg at 2 h post MC consumption relative to the placebo. Improvements in cardiovascular risk factors were closely linked to increases in circulating protocatechuic and vanillic acid at 1-2 h. Conclusions: Montmorency tart cherry intake acutely reduces SBP in males with early hypertension. These benefits may be mechanistically linked to the actions of circulating phenolic acids. Critically, this work provides new information on a new application of Montmorency tart cherries in health maintenance; in particular, positively modulating SBP. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02234648.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1539
Number of pages9
JournalThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Early online date4 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


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