Wild blueberries lower blood pressure and inflammation

Wild blueberries lower blood pressure and inflammation

Eating wild blueberries (bilberries) reverses the adverse effects of a high-fat diet, according to research from the University of Eastern Finland. This is the first study to show that wild blueberries lower blood pressure and inflammation caused by poor nutrition.

Low-grade inflammation and high blood pressure (hypertension) are often linked to obesity-related diseases. The study observed the effects of bilberries on mice fed a high-fat diet for three months. Some of the mice were fed 5% or 10% of freeze-dried bilberries in their diets. The team analyzed the  effects of the berries by measuring inflammation levels, blood pressure, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and weight gain.

Mice that were fed a high-fat diet had significant weight gain, detrimental changes in glucose and lipid metabolism, increase in inflammation, and higher blood pressure.

Bilberries reduced inflammation, and also lowered blood pressure caused by the high-fat diet.

Bilberries are an essential part of the Nordic diet, and the researchers note that they should be used more around the world. Bilberries are high in polyphenols and anthocyanins, which are believed to be responsible for the health benefits. The polyphenols and anthocyanin levels are higher than commercial blueberries.

This study was published in the journal PLOS One.

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1. “Wild Blueberries (bilberries) Can Help Tackle the Adverse Effects of a High-fat Diet.” University of Eastern Finland. University of Eastern Finland, n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.
2. “Wild Blueberries (Vaccinium Myrtillus) Alleviate Inflammation and Hypertension Associated with Developing Obesity in Mice Fed with a High-Fat Diet.” PLOS One. PLOS One, 12 Dec. 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.
3. “Wild Blueberries Nutrition.” Wild Blueberries. Wild Blueberries, n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

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