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Can Antioxidant-Rich Red, Blue Foods Lower Your Cholesterol?

If you've been confused and a little concerned about the dizzying array of options to lower your cholesterol, Chinese scientists may have identified a drug-free alternative, linked to plant-based pigments called anthocyanins.

Researchers tested the effect of anthocyanin on 120 patients (ranging in age from 40-65) with abnormal blood lipid levels. Patients received either a placebo or a 160mg dose of anthocyanins twice daily for 12 weeks.

Compared to the very slight effect from the placebo, patients taking anthocyanin experienced lower LDL cholesterol levels (by 13.6 percent) and elevated levels of HDL (good) cholesterol (by nearly 14 percent). Even better, the cellular removal of cholesterol improved by 20 percent among the anthocyanin group.

Whole foods that naturally contain the most anthocyanins:

* Blueberries

* Cranberries

* Cherries

* Blackberries

* Red currants

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 29, 2009

NutraIngredients-USA.com August 3, 2009

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