|dc.description.abstract||Background: Cardiovascular disease remains a significant clinical problem, despite intense
efforts to combat its associated risk factors. Intervention and prevention in younger life is the
preferred method of action in reducing rates of morbidity and early mortality. Montmorency
Tart Cherries (MTC) are rich in bioactive antioxidants and polyphenols compounds and
evidence suggests that they have the potential to provide cardioprotection via the means of
improved blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Other literature suggests that MTC may also
deliver beneficial effects regarding muscle recovery, promoting its use in both elite athletes
and the general public.
Objective: To investigate the effect of MTC supplementation on cardiovascular health and
muscle recovery in a young healthy population.
Design: In a randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled crossover pilot study, eight healthyparticipants
aged 18-30 consumed either freeze-dried (ActiveCherryÒ) MTC (870mg) or
cornflour (700mg) capsules for seven consecutive days, with a four-day washout period
between the alternative treatment. Participant’s body mass index (BMI) was established
through assessments of height and weight. Prior to, and succeeding each treatment,
measurements of blood pressure (BP) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) were taken to evaluate
changes in cardiovascular function and arterial stiffness. Changes in muscle recovery were
evaluated through increasing workload during a 10-minute cycling test; which aimed to
achieve 70-80% of the participant’s age-related maximum heart-rate. Blood lactate
concentrations ([La-]b) were obtained within 60 seconds and at 10-minutes post-exercise.
Participants were required to complete diet-diaries on four consecutive days to assess the
presence of polyphenols in their respective diets. Statistical analysis was evaluated through
the use of a paired-sample T-test in Microsoft Excel Software.
Results: Analysis of the diet-diaries established a low polyphenol presence in the participants’
diets. Laboratory analysis confirmed a higher antioxidant (0.413mmol FSE/capsule) and
phenolic (72.46mmol GAE/capsule) content in the intervention compared with the control
(0.012mmol FSE/capsule and 0.47mmol GAE/capsule, respectively). Changes in systolic and
diastolic BP, PWV and [La-]b were found to not be statistically significant (>0.05) for the cherry
intervention. PWV was found to be significant (p=0.0248) for the control treatment, however
not significant for systolic and diastolic BP or [La-]b.
Conclusion: Within the capabilities of the study, research failed to indicate that MTC
supplementation would potentially improve cardiovascular health or muscle recovery, despite
a high antioxidant and phenolic content in the capsules and low presence of polyphenols in
the diet. Further work in this area may be of value in the long-term prevention of cardiovascular
disease and as a sports performance-enhancer.
Keywords: Montmorency, Antioxidant, Phenolic, Arterial Stiffness, Muscle Recovery||en