Blueberries may inhibit development of fat cells

April 10, 2011

The benefits of blueberry consumption have been demonstrated in several nutrition studies, more specifically the cardio-protective benefits derived from their high polyphenol content. Blueberries have shown potential to have a positive effect on everything from aging to metabolic syndrome.

Recently, a researcher from Texas Woman's University (TWU) in Denton, TX, examined whether could play a role in reducing one of the world's greatest health challenges: obesity. Shiwani Moghe, MS, a graduate student at TWU, decided to evaluate whether blueberry polyphenols play a role in adipocyte differentiation, the process in which a relatively unspecialized cell acquires specialized features of an adipocyte, an animal cell specialized for the synthesis and storage of fat. Plant polyphenols have been shown to fight adipogenesis, which is the development of , and induce lipolysis, which is the breakdown of lipids/fat. Moghe will present her research at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting for the American Society for Nutrition on Sunday, April 10.

"I wanted to see if using blueberry polyphenols could inhibit obesity at a molecular stage," said Moghe. The study was performed in tissue cultures taken from mice. The polyphenols showed a dose-dependent suppression of adipocyte differentiation. The content in the control group was significantly higher than the content of the tissue given three doses of blueberry polyphenols. The highest dose of blueberry polyphenols yielded a 73% decrease in lipids; the lowest dose showed a 27% decrease.

"We still need to test this dose in humans, to make sure there are no adverse effects, and to see if the doses are as effective. This is a burgeoning area of research. Determining the best dose for humans will be important," said Moghe. "The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body."

These preliminary results contribute more items to the laundry list of benefits related to blueberries, which have already been shown to mitigate health conditions like cardiovascular disease and .

Explore further: Chemical in red wine, fruits and vegetables stops cancer, heart disease, depending on the dose

Related Stories

Purple pigments and obesity

February 11, 2008

Scientists in Arkansas are reporting new evidence that natural pigments responsible for the beautiful blue/purple/reddish color of certain fruits and vegetables may help prevent obesity. Their animal study, scheduled for ...

Blueberry ameliorates hepatic fibrosis

June 17, 2010

A research team from China examined the effect of blueberry on hepatic fibrosis and detoxification enzyme systems in rats. The results demonstrated that blueberry has a therapeutic effect on CCl4-induced hepatic fibrosis ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...

How cells in the developing ear 'practice' hearing

November 25, 2015

Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have figured out the molecular ...

How cells 'climb' to build fruit fly tracheas

November 25, 2015

Fruit fly windpipes are much more like human blood vessels than the entryway to human lungs. To create that intricate network, fly embryonic cells must sprout "fingers" and crawl into place. Now researchers at The Johns Hopkins ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.