New York: Consuming pears everyday may improve blood pressure and vascular function in middle aged people with metabolic syndrome (Mets), a study has found.
Mets is a cluster of major cardiovascular risk factors highly linked to the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.
Among the most popular fruits in the world, pears are an excellent source of fibre and a good source of vitamin C, for only 100 calories per serving. One medium pear provides 24 percent of daily fibre needs.
The researchers analysed 50 participants aged between 45 and 65 year with three of the five symptoms of Mets.
They were randomly assigned to receive either two medium-sized fresh pears or 50 g pear-flavoured drink mix (placebo) per day for 12 weeks.
The randomised, placebo-controlled crossover clinical trial evaluated the antihypertensive effects of fresh pear consumption in middle-aged participants with Mets.
The findings showed that after 12 weeks of fresh pear consumption in 36 participants, their systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure were significantly lower than baseline levels, whereas there were no changes in the control group.
"These initial results are very promising and we feel it is important to explore the potential for functional foods such as pears to improve cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure in affected middle-aged adult," said led author Sarah A Johnson from Colorado State University in the US.
"Age-related vascular dysfunction has been shown to be accelerated in individuals with metabolic syndrome and contributes to these increases in blood pressure," Johnson added.
Further research is needed to confirm the antihypertensive effects of fresh pears as well as to assess their impact on vascular function.
A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, including pears, provides beneficial micronutrients, vitamins, dietary fibre, potassium, phytochemicals, the researchers suggested.