22 Jun 2009

Research finds blackcurrants helps exercise recovery

9:59 am on 22 June 2009

A preliminary study by the Plant and Food Research Institute suggests that natural chemicals found in blackcurrants may help people to recover from exercise and sports.

The research, using an extract derived from New Zealand-grown blackcurrants, showed the potential to minimise muscle damage.

Karl Crawford, the institute's food innovations business manager, says that when the extract is taken before and after exercise it appears to reduce inflammation slightly and to boost a person's immune system.

The findings back up the positive links between blackcurrants and exercise identified in Japanese research.

Scientists say they will look more closely at the compounds in blackcurrants that produce these effects and why.

Mr Crawford says it is part of wider research at the institute to explore the health benefits of fruit and vegetables, as well as of seafoods.

He says international health and nutrition experts will discuss this matter, and other research, at the first Plant and Food Functional Foods Symposium in Christchurch on Monday.