Posted on Jan 25, 2016, 6 a.m.
Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) exert beneficial effects on the inflammatory response triggered by a high-fat diet, in an animal model.
A high-fat diet often initiates detrimental inflammatory mechanisms and elevates blood pressure. Otto T. Mykkanen, from the University of Eastern Finland (Finland), and colleagues evaluated the effects of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) consumption, in a mouse model. The study focused on the health effects of bilberries on mice that were fed high-fat diet for a period of three months. Some of the mice were fed either 5% or 10% of freeze-dried bilberries in the diet. Mice on the high-fat diet experienced significant weight gain and detrimental changes in glucose and lipid metabolism, inflammation factors and blood pressure. Bilberries diminished the pro-inflammatory effects of the high-fat diet, indicated by an altered cytokine profile and a reduced relative prevalence of inflammation supporting T-cells. Bilberries also prevented elevated blood pressure caused by the high-fat diet. The study authors observe that: “Bilberries reduce the development of systemic inflammation and prevent the progression of chronic hypertension, thus supporting their potential role in alleviating the adverse health effects associated with developing obesity.”
Otto T. Mykkanen, Anne Huotari, Karl-Heinz Herzig, Thomas W. Dunlop, Hannu Mykkanen, Pirkka V. Kirjavainen. “Wild Blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) Alleviate Inflammation and Hypertension Associated with Developing Obesity in Mice Fed with a High-Fat Diet.” PLOS ONE, 12 Dec. 2014.