Researchers have new proof that blueberries appear to be helpful in fighting arteriosclerosis, aka hardening of the arteries. Specifically, the research provides the first direct evidence that blueberries can help prevent harmful plaques or lesions associaed with heart disease from increasing in size.
Cardiovascular disease from heart attacks and strokes is the top killer of Americans.
The study examined atherosclerotic lesions in 30 young laboratory mice. Half of the animals were fed diets spiked with freeze-dried blueberry powder for 20 weeks; the diet of the other mice did not contain the berry powder.
The berry-powder mice group saw reduced-size lesions at two sites on their aortas of 39 and 58 percent less than the lesions in mice who didn’t get the blueberry powder.
The blueberry-spiked diet contained 1 percent blueberry powder, the equivalent of about a half-cup of fresh blueberries.
Principal investigator Xianli Wu, based in Little Rock, Ark., with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center and with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, led the investigation. Wu’s group will next launch a longitudinal study to determine if eating blueberries in childhood will have long-term health benefits. This research is considered to be critical, given America’s obesity epidemic. via Science Daily