Archive for October 2013

Blueberries Demonstrate Strong Anti-Diabetic Potential

October 17, 2013

New Research…  Antioxidants, Carotenoids, Flavonoids & Phytonutrients From Berries  and Their Value For Supporting Cardiovascular Health and Diabetes

A daily smoothie containing bioactive  ingredients from blueberry increased sensitivity to insulin,  and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes in at-risk  people, reports a new study.

Obese, non-diabetic, and insulin-resistant  participants who consumed a blueberry smoothie daily for  six weeks experienced a 22 percent change in insulin  sensitivity, compared to only 4.9 percent in the placebo  group, state findings published in the Journal of  Nutrition.

“To our knowledge, this is the first  reported human study that evaluated the effect of daily dietary  supplementation with bioactives in blueberries on whole- body insulin sensitivity in obese, non-diabetic, and  insulin-resistant men and women,” wrote the researchers at the  Center for the Study of Botanicals and Metabolic SyndromeLouisiana State University System.

“The uniqueness of this study relates to  the design, which was randomized, double blinded, and placebo  controlled. By design, the blueberry and placebo  smoothies were identical in physical appearance and  macronutrient content with the exception of adding the blueberry  bioactives to the blueberry smoothie. The major finding was  that daily consumption of whole blueberry bioactives  for 6 wk improved insulin sensitivity in a population at high  risk for type-2 diabetes compared with ad libitum dietary intake  alone,” they added.

Consumer interest in blueberries and the  compounds they contain has increased in recent years,  following results from studies reporting a wide range of health  benefits, most notably for brain health and reducing the risk of  Alzheimer’s.

The beneficial effects of the blueberries  are thought to be linked to their flavonoid content – in  particular anthocyanins and flavanols. Despite numerous studies  reporting the benefits of blueberries, no human study has looked at the effects of higher

blueberry consumption on insulin  sensitivity in people at high risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

The research team recruited 32 obese, non- diabetic, and insulin-resistant subjects with an average  age of 51.5, and an average BMI of 37.4 kg/m2. Participants  were randomly assigned to receive a smoothie containing  22.5 grams of blueberry bioactives or a �placebo’  smoothie of equal nutritional value. Two smoothies were  consumed every day for six weeks.

At the end of the study, 67 percent of  people in the blueberry group experienced “at least a 10 percent or  greater favorable change in insulin sensitivity, whereas only  41 percent of the placebo participants demonstrated this  change”, they stated.

On the other hand, no changes in BMI, body  fat, or markers of inflammation were observed, said the  Baton Rouge-based researchers and they further noted… “The  bioactives in blueberries enhanced insulin sensitivity  independent of any changes in inflammatory biomarkers or  adiposity,”

“This study is not conclusive, but it  strongly suggests a need to further explore the cellular mechanism  for the effect. “In addition, our study suggests the need for  studies of longer duration that will evaluate blueberries and  their potential role in improving insulin sensitivity in an  insulin-resistant human population,” they concluded.

The United States Highbush Blueberry  Council (USHBC) prepared the freeze-dried whole blueberry  powder used in this study. Funding was obtained from the  USHBC, the NIH, and the National Center for Complementary  and Alternative Medicine and the Office of Dietary  Supplement.

Source: Journal of Nutrition (Published online) “Bioactives in Blueberries Improve Insulin  Sensitivity in Obese, Insulin-Resistant Men and Women”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide   medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.   Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.