In a study featured in the Journal Nutrients, the relationship between berry consumption and physiological stress responses was examined. The study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted among US adults from 2003–2010. The researchers used allostatic load (AL) scores, which measure physiological dysregulation due to stress, to assess the impact of berry consumption.
The study found that those who consumed berries, specifically strawberries, blueberries, and other berries, had significantly lower AL scores. These scores were dose-dependent and remained consistent even after adjusting for other factors. The study also found that berry consumers had lower levels of biomarkers in each AL domain, with blackberry consumers showing particularly lower mean autonomic scores.
The study concludes that berry consumption may potentially reduce stress-related physiological dysregulations and prevent cardiovascular and metabolic disorders in the US adult population. Future research will aim to validate these results with different assessment methods in different population cohorts.