Wild blueberries can neutralise a high-fat diet
Eating blueberries picked in the wild, called bilberries, can diminish many undesirable effects of a high-fat diet, including inflammation and rising blood pressure, according to a study at the University of Eastern Finland.Updated: Jan 03, 2015, 15:21 IST
Eating blueberries picked in the wild, called bilberries, can diminish many undesirable effects of a high-fat diet, including inflammation and rising blood pressure, according to a study at the University of Eastern Finland.
The research team fed mice a high-fat diet over the course of three months and gave some of them enough bilberries to represent five to 10 per cent of their nutritional intake.
Taking into consideration the inflammatory cell and cytokine levels, systolic blood pressure, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and weight gain, the researchers assessed the effect of the diet on the mice.
They found that bilberries reduced the pro-inflammatory effects of the high-fat diet for the cytokine profiles of the mice that had been fed bilberries were preferable.
Mice who were fed bilberries gained less weight and had lower systolic blood pressure than those who weren’t, according to the study.
Wild blueberries, say the researchers, contain higher amounts of polyphenols than the commercially cultivated kind, and they believe a type of polyphenol called anthocyanins — a red-blue plant pigment — is at play in staving off the negative effects of a high-fat diet.
Interestingly, a study at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, found that high concentration of polyphenols found in potato extract prevented weight gain in mice that were fed a diet high in fat and refined carbohydrates.
Polyphenols are found in many plants, fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and sundries such as red wine, tea and dark chocolate and foods that are high in anthocyanins including cherries, asparagus, plums and black currants.