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Glycemic Index Forum / Sugar Busters Forum _ Food News _ Blueberry Study

Posted by: Kate Aug 26 2004, 10:26 AM

Blueberry Compound Fights Cholesterol, Study Finds
Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:48 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A compound used by blueberries and grapes to fight off fungal infections could help lower cholesterol, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.
The compound, called pterostilbene, also helps regulate blood sugar and might help fight type-2 diabetes, the researchers told a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

The finding adds to a growing list of reasons to eat colorful fruit, especially blueberries, which are rich in compounds known as antioxidants. These molecules battle cell and DNA damage involved in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and perhaps also brain degeneration.

"We are excited to learn that blueberries, which are already known to be rich in healthy compounds, may also be a potent weapon in the battle against obesity and heart disease, which are leading killers in the U.S.," Agnes Rimando of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Oxford, Mississippi, said in a statement.

Rimando's team had previously found pterostilbene in grapes. It is similar to a better-known antioxidant in grapes -- resveratrol.

They studied pterostilbene in rat liver cells, soaking them in four compounds found in blueberries including pterostilbene and resveratrol. Pterostilbene was the best at activating the PPAR-alpha receptor, a protein involved in lowering cholesterol and other blood fats.

In fact, they told the meeting, pterostilbene worked as well as the commercial drug ciprofibrate -- but it worked more accurately. It was so specific that it could have fewer side-effects than the drug, they said.

It is impossible to know yet if simply eating blueberries will lower cholesterol, Rimando said. But a range of health expert groups, including the federal government, advise eating as many as 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and blueberries are highly recommended.

Pterostilbene and resveratrol are related chemicals belonging to a group of compounds called phytoalexins. Plants produce them in response to stresses such as fungal infection and ultraviolet light.

Pterostilbene may also be a promising compound to develop into a natural-based fungicide, Rimando said.

Posted by: molly Aug 26 2004, 10:22 PM

Alright- I'm gonna have to start posting some blueberry recipes! LOL! tongue.gif

Good info Kate! THanks or sharing this.


Posted by: Kate Aug 27 2004, 12:08 AM

You're welcome! Besides just eating them and in smoothies, I don't have a clue what to do with blueberries. Bear in mind, I don't bake (I can wink.gif , I just hate it ph34r.gif )and whatever I make usually has to be freezable since there's just one of me smile.gif .

Posted by: molly Aug 27 2004, 01:17 AM

How about sprinkling them on top of cereal or yogurt or oatmeal?

Or you could heat them in a sauce pan with a bit of sweetener, some lemon juice and a splash of water. Mash them up a bit & use as a topper for pancakes or waffles.

mmmm... now I'm getting hungry for blueberries!


Posted by: sam-I-am Aug 27 2004, 02:33 AM

Ugh, me too! I sure would love some blueberry cobbler... Hey you got a recipe for that, Molly?? biggrin.gif wink.gif

smile.gif Sam

Posted by: molly Aug 27 2004, 11:46 AM

Is the desert dry? LOL! Of course I do. biggrin.gif

I'll try to post one tonight.


Posted by: molly Aug 28 2004, 04:44 PM

Sam! We had terrible storms here last night and I had to be off-line so I didn't get the recipes you asked for posted. Will do so today.

molly smile.gif

Posted by: sam-I-am Aug 28 2004, 06:33 PM

Thanks Molly! I've already got those saved to my desert file. cool.gif Now to get some blueberries...

smile.gif Sam

Posted by: molly Aug 29 2004, 03:15 PM

A cyber buddy sent this to me awhile back. I thought it was good info to add to our Bueberry Education! smile.gif
Blueberries:The Miracle Fruits

Radical Resistance....
Every second of your life, your cells are bombarded by dangerous particles called Free Radicals.

In a split second, they can alter your DNA in ways that cause cancer, or change low-density lipoprotein cholesterol{LOL,the BAD cholesterol}so it sticks to artery walls. Or damage collegen and make skin wrinkle prone.Over time, changes such as these accelerate your aging.

Fortunately you can fight back. the trick is to load your diet with ANTIOXIDANTS- the natural zappers of free radicals-by eating lots of fruits and vegetables.And that's where the incredible blueberries come in.The amazing little blueberry has emerged as NATURE'S #1 SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS among fresh fruits and vegetables.

In tests done at the USDA Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, BLUEBERRIES beat out 39 other common fruits and vegetables ---even such heavy weights as kale, strawberries, spinach & broccoli in antioxidant power.

Much of the power comes from ANTHOCYANINS, the pigment that gives blueberries their deep blue hue.

Where the Antioxidants are:
To get the level of antioxidants found in just 1/2 cup blueberries, you need to eat much more of other fruits and Vegetables:
1/2 cup blueberries= 3/4 cup strawberries, 1 1/4 cup orange sections, 2 1/2 cups
broccoli florets, 2 1/4 cups chopped spinach, 2 2/3 cups corn.

"With 1/2 cup blueberries, you can just about double the amount of antioxidants most Americans get in one day.

IF you want to slow down the Free Radical Aging Process, blueberries are the leader of the pack" Ronald Prior, PHD, head of the USDA Phytochemical Lab at Tufts.

Dr. Prior urges you not to choose only fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants.Tomatoes for example, are fairly low in antioxidants but are a rich source of LYCOPENE, which has been linked to lower rates of prostate cancer & heart disesae.

The best advice? Eat blueberries in addition to the fruits & vegetables you already eat, not to replace them.

Blueberries are also good for Urinary Tract Relief.....Called condensed tannins, the
compounds keep the bacteria responsible for UTI's from attaching to the wall of your

Fresh as well as frozen blueberries can be used.

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