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New Zealand black currant supplement CurraNZ may help reduce obesity-linked inflammation and insulin sensitivity, according to research by John Moores Liverpool University1

LONDON, March 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — With experts claiming Britain’s obesity and Diabetes crisis as one of the main reasons behind the nation’s alarming COVID-19 mortality rates, the spotlight has fallen on how we can urgently find a way for millions of overweight Brits to lose weight and cut their risk factors.

But one British researcher has identified a fast-acting nutritional intervention that has been shown to fight inflammation and improve these health markers – and it’s affordable, natural and requires very little effort.

Dr Sam Shepherd, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at John Moores Liverpool University, has focused his recent research attentions on the polyphenol-rich New Zealand blackcurrant, CurraNZ which he believes could offer an easy way for Brits to cut their risk of Type 2 Diabetes, improve fat burning and reduce obesity-driven inflammation.

Dr Shepherd’s research1 has shown that overweight individuals, tested in free-living conditions, slashed their obesity-driven inflammation 24%. They also improved their post-breakfast and lunch blood sugar levels and improved whole-body insulin sensitivity a staggering 22% after just one week’s intake of CurraNZ. 

This is highly significant, because insulin resistance promotes fat storage, causes weight gain and can lead to the development of Type 2 Diabetes.

Dr Shepherd says: “It’s an exciting finding because whilst the population group we studied were inactive and overweight or obese, they weren’t metabolically unhealthy. Because we have shown a positive effect in this population, then when you move up the spectrum of disease towards Type 2 Diabetes, we could expect the effects of New Zealand blackcurrant (CurraNZ) to potentially be even greater.

“We know that exercise and specific diets can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and CurraNZ  provides an additional approach.

“The big difference is its implementation, as unlike exercise and diet, taking two blackcurrant capsules a day doesn’t require a lot of effort from the user.”

Scientists are showing that the berry offers a double action for helping tackle obesity, thanks to its recently-discovered effect on making the body favour fat as fuel3-8. Plus, it appears to be more effective in overweight individuals and those with the poorest rates of fat burning3.

Dr Shepherd has also shown that one week of the berry extract improves fat burning on average 30% in trained women cyclists during moderate-intensity activity2, equivalent to improvements normally only seen after a month’s daily exercise.

This previously unknown quality in this antioxidant-rich berry has been linked to their effect on circulation. Clinical trials9,10 have shown that CurraNZ increases cardiac function and main arterial blood flow by 35%, and is thought to be part of the underlying mechanism for boosting fat burning.

A recent breakthrough from the University of Chichester4 has revealed the berry can be even more effective in individuals with a higher body mass index (BMI), with fat burning increases of up to 106% during 30 minutes of brisk walking. 

The findings are significant for overweight and obese individuals, who suffer from lower rates of fat burning.

Dr Shepherd says: “The additional benefits for fat oxidation and blood flow are all linked to an improvement in insulin sensitivity.

“We’re now starting to build a picture of how New Zealand blackcurrant anthocyanin extract is working to improve health. We’ve demonstrated it can improve whole body insulin sensitivity and further studies will look at whether this is related to improved fat oxidation, or blood flow, or something else.

“For now, what we do know is that the New Zealand blackcurrant anthocyanin extract, is great news for helping to cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, improving metabolic and glycaemic responses, as well as cardiovascular function.”

About CurraNZ

CurraNZ is a 100% natural sports and health superfood supplement made from New Zealand blackcurrants.

CurraNZ helps your body prepare and take care of itself thanks to the anthocyanins found naturally in blackcurrants. And because of New Zealand’s strong sunlight, high UV levels and cold winters, the blackcurrants in CurraNZ contain the highest anthocyanin levels in the world providing multiple health benefits.

THE POWER OF ANTHOCYANINS:  Anthocyanins are natural plant compounds that give blackcurrants their deep purple colouring. These bioactive fruit pigments boast numerous health benefits including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and circulation-boosting actions. Ground-breaking scientific research also shows that anthocyanins have a positive effect on fat metabolism, blood flow and oxygen delivery.


1.  Short–term, but not acute, intake of New Zealand blackcurrant extract improves insulin sensitivity and free–living postprandial glucose excursions in individuals with overweight or obesity, A. Nolan · R. Brett · J. A. Strauss · C. E. Stewart · S. O. Shepherd. European Journal of Nutrition,

2.  Public Health England; 24.7.2020; Insights from new evidence on the relationship between excess weight and corona virus (COVID-19)

3.  New Zealand blackcurrant extract enhances fat oxidation during prolonged cycling in endurance-trained females. Strauss, JA, Willems, MET and Shepherd, SO (2018) European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6327

4.  Daily and Not Every-Other-Day Intake of Anthocyanin-Rich New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Alters Substrate Oxidation during Moderate-Intensity Walking in Adult Males, was published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, October 2020,

5.  Intake Duration of Anthocyanin-Rich New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Affects Metabolic Responses during Moderate Intensity Walking Exercise in Males was published June 2020 in the Journal of Dietary Supplements,

6.  New Zealand Blackcurrant Improves Performance and Fat Oxidation in Cyclists, Willems ME1, Myers SD, Blacker S, Cook MD. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2015 June 30.

7.  Dose Effects of New Zealand Blackcurrant on Substrate Oxidation and Physiological Responses During Prolonged Cycling, Matthew David Cook, Stephen David Myers · Mandy Lucinda Gault · Victoria Charlotte Edwards · Mark Elisabeth Theodorus Willems, Eur J Appl Physiol (April 2017) 117:1207–1216DOI 10.1007/s00421-017-3607-z

8.  Dietary supplementation with New Zealand blackcurrant extract enhances fat oxidation during submaximal exercise in the heat, Ania M. Hiles, Tessa R. Flood, Ben J. Lee,∗, Lucy E.V. Wheeler, Rianne Costello,Ella F. Walker, Kimberly M. Ashdowna, Matthew R. Kuennenc, Mark E.T. Willems, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, March 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2020.02.017

9.  New Zealand Blackcurrant Alters Physiological Reponses and Femoral Artery Diameter during Sustained Isometric Contraction. Matthew David Cook, Stephen David Myers, Mandy Lucinda Gault and Mark Elisabeth Theodorus Willems, June 2017 Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 556; doi:10.3390/nu9060556

10.  Cardiovascular function during Supine Rest in Endurance-Trained Males with New Zealand Blackcurrant: A Dose-Response Study, Matthew David Cook, Stephen David Myers · Mandy Lucinda Gault · Victoria Charlotte Edwards · Mark Elisabeth Theodorus Willems, 1 3Eur J Appl Physiol (2017) 117:247–254DOI 10.1007/s00421-016-3512-x


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