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Old 03-12-2008, 08:56 PM
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Harry Hirsute Harry Hirsute is offline
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Default Blueberries May Combat Osteoporosis

12-Mar-2008 - An increased intake of blueberries may prevent the weakening of bones that occurs after the menopause, suggests a new study with rats.

If the study can be translated to humans, it could see the berry's health benefits being extended beyond those already reported in the literature including lowering cholesterol, and protecting against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

Researchers from Florida State University and Oklahoma State University published their findings in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

Sales of the fruit have been booming, going from 10.3m (€14.9m) in 2003 to almost 40m (€58m) in 2005, according to UK supplier BerryWorld, driven by dieticians and scientists hailing the fruit as one of nature's superfoods.

Lead author Latha Devareddy and co-workers looked at the effects of blueberries on bone loss in rats that had had their ovaries removed (ovariectomised).

This animal model is designed to represent senile osteoporosis, or the bone-wasting condition that affects the elderly, as it combines both hormone deficiency with chronic inflammation.

The researchers divided 30 female rats into three groups. One group acted as the control and was not ovariectomised, while the other groups were ovariectomised. The ovariectomised rats were further divided into two groups - one fed the control diet, the other supplemented with blueberries (five per cent) for 100 days.

As Devareddy expected, the ovariectomised rats that did not receive the berries showed bone mineral density decreases of about six per cent at the whole-body, tibial, femoral, and 4th lumbar level.

On the other hand, feeding the animals with blueberry was found to prevent the loss of whole-body BMD, as well as having an effect on prevention of the BMD loss at the tibial and femoral position, when compared to both the control and ovariectomised rats not fed blueberries.

"The findings of the present study indicate that blueberry protected against the ovariectomised -induced bone loss as it prevented the loss of whole-body BMD and had an intermediary effect on tibial and femoral BMD," wrote the researchers.

"This effect may be due to the components of blueberry which function as free radical scavengers. This observation is supported by a report which ranks the blueberry extract to have the highest antioxidant capacity in comparison with other fruits and reference compounds such as vitamin C," they added.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:19 AM
Mari Mari is offline
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However, it seems to me that most of the studies are done using wild blueberries while what we have accessable to us are cultivated buleberries which do not have the same nutritional content.

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blueberry, osteoporosis
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