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New research trial shows blueberries’ potential

New research trial shows blueberries’ potential for reducing hyperglycemia, weight gain and cholesterol levels.

“The blueberry’s ability to intervene in conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity is of critical importance,” says trial leader.

The results of a recently published research study highlight blueberries’ potential to play a significant role in helping to manage weight and prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

More than 60% of New Zealand adults are overweight or obese, with obesity costing the country $849 million a year in healthcare and lost productivity.

It’s estimated that, by 2021, diabetes will be costing the economy more than $1 billion a year.

The North Carolina State University’s Plants For Human Health Institute, in collaboration with Rutgers University, is currently focusing on the efficacy of blueberries in Type 2 diabetes.

In their latest study, published in Pharmacology Research, blueberry polyphenol--enriched soybean flour was shown to reduce hyperglycemia, body weight gain and serum cholesterol.

“This reinforces growing evidence that indicates the polyphenols contained in blueberries possess many health--promoting and disease--preventing properties,” says the trial leader, Dr Mary Ann Lila.

“I believe that, given the escalation of diabetes and obesity in New Zealand and globally, the blueberry’s ability to intervene in these conditions is of critical importance."

The study also reports: “Blueberries have been used in traditional medicine, especially for the secondary complications of diabetes.

Blueberries contain a wide array of polyphenol compounds including up to 27 different anthocyanin pigments as well as proanthocyanidins, quercetin, and quercetin glycosides and chlorogenic acids which all contribute to the fruit’s high antioxidant activity.

Apart from antioxidant activity, research shows that blueberry polyphenols have anti--diabetic and cardio--protective properties.

Two recent clinical studies where participants consumed blueberries formulated into a beverage have demonstrated improved insulin sensitivity in insulin--resistant subjects, and decreased blood pressure and markers of lipid oxidation in metabolic syndrome patients compared to the control intervention."

ENDS

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