Monday, November 08, 2010

Protect artery health with blueberries

Blueberries are a "superfruit" rich in powerful antioxidants that fight and prevent disease. And a new study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) adds to the growing list of the blueberry's known benefits, revealing that the fruit helps stop the lesions and plaques that form in the arteries of people with atherosclerosis.

Xianli Wu and a team from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences conducted the study, which appears in the Journal of Nutrition. They found that when fed the equivalent of a half cup of blueberries a day for 20 weeks, mice with atherosclerosis lesions experienced a nearly 60 percent reduction in the size of the lesions, compared to mice not fed blueberries.

According to researchers, all mice had an apolipoprotein-E deficiency, which means they were already prone to developing hardened arteries. Thus identifying the mechanisms by which blueberries exhibit positive results was simplified, as researchers were able to observe the specific ways in which blueberry antioxidants work to prevent oxidative stress and damage. Read more...

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