Favorable Effect of Berry Consumption on Platelet Function, Blood Pressure and HDL Cholesterol
When is comes to high phytonutrient value and protection of mitochondria, berries definitely are found high on the list. And, when you think about it, increasing your intake of berries is not exactly painful. A cup of wild blueberries daily can go a long way.
In this particular study, we found increases in HDL levels with berry intake. Interestingly, there are not many direct pathways I can think of that would increase HDL levels with increasing polyphenol intake from berries. Which brings to mind the subject of surrogate endpoints. Recently, human clinical trials of a drug designed to raise HDL levels was canceled when patients in the study were dying on the drug, despite higher HDL levels.
The use of surrogate end markers (instead of looking at death, we look at lab values that are linking to higher death rates, such as HDL cholesterol in this case). The trial was not the first to find that a drug designed specifically to affect surrogate endpoints has resulted in higher death rates. So maybe, just maybe, the fact that higher HDL levels seem to protect against heart disease is because HDL levels are merely a reflection of the health of the entire patient, and when they are healthy, HDL levels go up–rather then being healthy because HDL levels are elevated.
So, back to this study, maybe the HDL levels have gone up because the polyphenols from the berries are improving the entire health of the patient, resulting in the by-product of higher HDL levels.