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Blueberries May Lower Blood Fat/Cholesterol

Tasty berries carry fat-fighting compound

You already know blueberries are good for you. They're already touted as antioxidant-rich fruits that protect against the ravages of aging, heart disease, and cancer. Now add potential cholesterol-fighting effects to the list of blueberry benefits, suggests Agnes M. Rimando, PhD, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Products Utilization Research Center in Oxford, Miss.

Rimando and colleagues tested a compound found in blueberries, pterostilbene, for its ability to turn on a switch in cells that breaks down fat and cholesterol. They reported their findings at this week's 228th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

"We are excited to learn that blueberries, which are already rich in healthy compounds, may also be a potent weapon in the battle against obesity and heart disease," Rimando says in a news release.

Pterostilbene -- the fat-fighting compound in blueberries -- has been found to have cancer-fighting and diabetes-fighting properties. It's similar to resveratrol, which is found in grapes. That's one reason why moderate amounts of red wine are good for you. Rimando and colleagues report that the blueberry compound may be even more potent than the red-wine compound.

In their laboratory studies, Rimando's team used rat liver cells. Since there were no human tests -- or even animal studies -- there's no way to say how many blueberries humans have to eat to cut their cholesterol.

But the experiments showed that the blueberry compound worked better than ciprofibrate, a drug used outside the U.S. to lower blood fats and cholesterol.


American Chemical Society 228th National Meeting, Philadelphia, Aug. 22-26, 2004. News release, American Chemical Society.

The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer .  The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation.  A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions 

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