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March 25, 2020 2 min read

New Zealand blackcurrants – more than a one-hit wonder for exercise recovery

It’s further good news for people who exercise regularly. According to a study by scientists at Plant & Food Research, anthocyanin-rich New Zealand blackcurrants provide more than one-off benefits for exercise recovery.

Previous studies have shown that consuming anthocyanin-rich New Zealand blackcurrants assists with exercise recovery, helping regulate oxidative stress and inflammation and supporting immunity.

“We wanted to know if the benefits associated with a single intake were sustained over time with repeated intake,” says Dr Hurst, Plant & Food Research Principal Scientist, and science leader of the study. “We found that long-term consumption also brings benefits for exercise recovery.”

Regular appropriate exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but if we overdo it excessive oxidative and inflammatory stresses can be detrimental. However, some functional foods, containing bioactives, such as anthocyanin-rich New Zealand blackcurrants, might be able to help.

In this study, the scientists looked at whether daily consumption of anthocyanins from New Zealand blackcurrants one hour prior to exercise over an extended period (five weeks) had diminished efficacy (due to desensitisation), compared to a single intake.

The scientists found that daily consumption either maintained or enhanced exercise recovery effectiveness, improving anti-inflammatory and immunity markers. This data builds upon the growing evidence suggesting that the New Zealand blackcurrant extract primes the body, allowing for exercise to switch on antioxidant, inflammatory defences and adaptation.

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“This study is one of several we are finalising and hoping to publish revealing the benefits of New Zealand blackcurrant consumption for supporting exercise and an active lifestyle,” says Hurst.

Funding for the study was provided by the New Zealand Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) program (C06X0807). Read the paper here.

 


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