You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Daily Dose

Can berries reduce your heart attack risk?

A new Harvard School of Public Health study published in the journal Circulation indicates that eating at least three servings a week of red, purple, or blue fruits (grapes, apples, and an assortment of berries) that are rich in the flavonoid anthocyanin is associated with a 32 percent decreased heart attack risk in younger women ages 24 to 42 who reported their intake on dietary surveys and were then followed for nearly 20 years.

Strawberries and blueberries seemed to be particularly protective.

Continue reading below

Like other studies that passively follow populations, this one couldn’t prove that particular fruits led to less heart disease, but the researchers said it adds to the limited knowledge base about heart disease risk in younger women, who are much less likely than women over age 60 to develop heart disease.

“Our data suggest a potential role for flavonoids, specifically anthocyanins, in reducing risk,” wrote the study authors. And unlike alcohol, which is associated with health risks as well as benefits, consuming berries and other dark-colored fruit on a regular basis can only be a win-win for women.

That said, the decrease in risk is a small one, considering that heart attacks are very uncommon in women under age 60. It’s also not certain how much berries and other dark colored fruits play a role in reducing heart disease risk in men and older women.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.