- May 13, 2016
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BLUEBERRIES GOOD, WILD BLUEBERRIES BETTERBlueberries are healthy. We know this. They're a great source of phytochemicals called polyphenols, which is one of things that make most "super foods" so super.
Now researchers are breaking it down further and figuring out exactly what type of blueberries are the most healthful. Answer: wild or "neotropical" blueberries found in Mexico, Central and South America. They contain more of all the good stuff already found in blueberries, like antioxidants.
INHIBIT FAT CELL FORMATION?Now it gets more interesting. We know that blueberries can be helpful in the fight against metabolic syndrome: inflammation, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, not looking very good naked, etc. Researcher Shiwani Moghe, MS, has gone a step further, investigating whether blueberry polyphenols play a role in adipocyte differentiation.
Adipocyte differentiation is the process in which an unspecialized cell acquires specialized features of an adipocyte, a cell specialized for the synthesis and storage of body fat. "I wanted to see if using blueberry polyphenols could inhibit obesity at a molecular stage," said Moghe. Plant polyphenols have been shown to fight adipogenesis (the development of fat cells) and induce lipolysis (the breakdown of lipids/fat).
Three groups of mice were given different amounts of blueberry polyphenols and a fourth group was used as a control. The mice that chowed down on polyphenols exhibited a suppression of adipocyte differentiation. The highest dose of blueberry polyphenols yielded a 73% decrease in lipids. The control group got nothin'.
In another study, researchers at the University of Maine concluded that eating wild blueberries reduced "chronic inflammation and improved the abnormal lipid profile and gene expression associated with metabolic syndrome." While this study was done on fat rats, the researchers said that two cups a day of wild blueberries could have the same benefits for humans.