Flavonoids are compounds found in most fruits and vegetables, and a high intake of flavonoid-rich foods has been linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. About 70 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, which includes high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, and studies have shown that individuals that consume foods with flavonoids have a lower death rate occurring from cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, New Zealand Blackcurrants are rich in nutrients and anthocyanins, a potent form of flavonoid. Research suggests that flavonoids help to improve the function of the blood vessels and reduce blood stickiness, lowering the risk of blood clots. Small blood clots can release harmful chemicals, which form bad cholesterol, also known as oxidized low density lipoprotein, or LDL. Eventually this can lead to the narrowing of the arteries, restriction of blood flow and increased blood pressure. Ongoing studies have proven that blackcurrant consumption may be directly related to a reduced rate of bad cholesterol formation.


In recent years, numerous studies have shown that anthocyanins display a wide range of biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic activities. In addition, anthocyanins display a variety of effects on blood vessels and platelets that may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The anthocyanins found in blackcurrant berries, particularly cyanidin, play an important role in cardiovascular health. This anthocyanin has antioxidant and free radical scavenging abilities, which protect the cells against oxidative damage, lowering the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that anthocyanins relax arteries and increase blood flow through the body while actively helping to maintain a healthy balance of cholesterols in the body.

During hypertension, endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation (which is the ability to reduce the tension of blood vessel walls) is reduced, which is caused by a decreased release of nitric oxide (NO). Based on this fact, Dr. H. Matsumoto and his team from the Health and Bioscience Laboratories, Meiji Seika Kaisha, Ltd., studied the possible vasorelaxant effects of blackcurrant anthocyanins from blackcurrant juice. Blackcurrant concentrate was found to induce endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation, most likely due to the release of nitric oxide(NO). Via a separate mechanism, the H2O2 scavenging abilities of anthocyanins, also demonstrated that they regulate NO. The free radical peroxide is known to inactivate NO, thus the reduction of peroxide results in more available and active NO.


Atherosclerosis is a disease in which cholesterol, calcium and cellular waste products build up in the inner lining of an artery. This build up, also known as plaque, grows significantly in the artery and reduces blood flow. This disease begins when the innermost layer of the artery, the endothelium, is damaged. The endothelium enables the blood to flow smoothly inside the blood vessels, and when it is damaged the reduced flow and associated clots can lead to strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications. Blackcurrant polyphenols help repair the endothelium in part by removing plaque from arterial walls. Studies have revealed these polyphenols improve peripheral blood flow by working on the endodermis of blood vessels while enhancing overall vessel function. The causes of damage to the arterial wall have proven that blackcurrant consumption lowers LDL and increases the HDL to help maintain a proper ratio of good cholesterol.

Blackcurrant seed oil contains high levels of GLA and other important polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help maintain vital bodily functions. These essential fatty acids are precursors of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that are necessary to help support and regulate functions such as metabolizing cholesterol, protecting against platelet aggregations and adhesion, reducing clotting of blood, regulating arterial pressure, and dilating blood vessels.