The health benefits of blueberries have long been touted. They are flavor-filled and nutritious, while still being very low in calories. In fact, researchers at Tufts University analyzed 60 fruits and vegetables to find out more about their antioxidant powers. Blueberries ended up at the top of the heap, rating highest in their capacity to destroy free radicals.
Canadian researchers have now found that “biotransformed” blueberries with bacteria from the berry’s skin may help people fight obesity and diabetes.
In an animal study, diabetic and pre-diabetic mice saw a reduction in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
The key is the bacteria Serratia vaccinii. It’s a new strain isolated from blueberries that appears to enhance the natural antioxidant effects. Blood glucose levels of the mice fell by 35 percent after three days of drinking the biotransformed juice.
“Results of this study clearly show that biotransformed blueberry juice has strong anti-obesity and anti-diabetic potential,” says senior author Pierre S. Haddad, a pharmacology professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Medicine. “Biotransformed blueberry juice may represent a novel therapeutic agent.”
The study appeared online in the International Journal of Obesity.
September 13th, 2009