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Two Cups of Wild Blueberries Lowers the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

First Posted: Nov 06, 2013 07:16 AM EST

A latest study uncovers an unknown health benefit of wild blueberry. The study links wild blueberry-rich diet to lower risk of metabolic syndrome.

Wild blueberry is one of nature's superfruit and has high levels of antioxidants. Several studies conducted in the past have highlighted the protective health benefits of wild blueberries that are a rich source of photochemicals called polyphenols.

The new study conducted by researchers at the University of Maine adds to growing body of evidence by stating two cups of wild blueberries a day may help in improving or preventing metabolic syndrome including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a combination of several medical disorders that includes blood pressure, high blood pressure, and excess fat around the waist and high cholesterol levels all together which elevates the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Nearly 37 percent of adults in U.S, suffer with MetS.

Many substances found in food have the potential to prevent MetS, this thereby lowers the need for medication and medical intervention.

"We have previously documented the cardiovascular benefits of a polyphenol-rich wild blueberry in a rat model with impaired vascular health and high blood pressure," says Dr. Klimis-Zacas, a Professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Maine and a co-author of the study. "Our new findings show that these benefits extend to the obese Zucker rat, a widely used model resembling human MetS. Endothelial dysfunction is a landmark characteristic of MetS, and the obese Zucker rat, an excellent model to study the MetS, is characterized by vascular dysfunction. The vascular wall of these animals shows an impaired response to vasorelaxation or vasoconstriction which affects blood flow and blood pressure regulation."

The study states that consuming 2 cups of wild blueberry for continuously 8 weeks helps in regulating and improving the balance between relaxing and constricting the factors in vascular wall. It also improved blood flow and regulated the blood pressure level, according to a news release.

In a recent finding it was shown that wild blueberries lowers chronic inflammation and enhances abnormal lipid profile and gene expression associated with Mets.

The study findings were documented in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

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