Summer's superfruit challenged: Latin American blueberries found to be 'extreme superfruits'

Jul 14, 2011

One of the treats of summer—fresh, antioxidant-rich blueberries—has new competition for the title of "superfruit."

But at least the contenders are keeping the title in the family.

Researchers have found that two of wild native to the tropical regions of Central and South America—the New World tropics, or Neotropics—contain two to four times more antioxidants than the blueberries sold in U.S. markets.

This finding is the result of an analysis of the compounds contained in neotropical blueberries grown at The New York Botanical Garden.

The study was conducted by Professor Edward Kennelly, a biologist at Lehman College in the Bronx who is an expert in medicinal plants, and Paola Pedraza, Ph.D., a botanist at The New York Botanical Garden whose specialties include South American blueberry species.

"No one had looked at this," Dr. Pedraza said. "The results are very promising."

For their study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the scientists examined five species of neotropical blueberries. The two species that had the highest amounts of antioxidants were Cavendishia grandifolia and Anthopterus wardii.

"We consider these two species of neotropical blueberries to be extreme superfruits with great potential to benefit human health," Dr. Kennelly said.

Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables have been associated with lower incidence of some chronic diseases and may help protect against heart disease, inflammatory ailments such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and even cancer.

Of the five neotropical blueberry species used in the study, four came from the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at The New York Botanical Garden. One came from the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Although these blueberries are wild species that are not currently commercially available, the scientists believe that they have the potential to become a popular food item or health supplement if their high antioxidant content becomes better known.

"I think it's just a matter of time until people start working on making them more available," Dr. Pedraza said.

More than 600 neotropical species are related to the "highbush" blueberries common to the American market. Several of them, including the two most promising species in Drs. Kennelly and Pedraza's study, are native to the high-elevation forests of the Andes Mountains, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world.

The discovery that these blueberries have potential benefits for humans underscores the importance of preserving Earth's biodiversity, Pedraza said.

"There are so many things out there that could have an impact on our lives," she said. "That's why we should be worried about conservation in our country and in other countries because you never know when good things will come to light."

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Provided by The New York Botanical Garden

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210
2 / 5 (4) Jul 14, 2011
SUPERFRUITS: Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, with a strong second place showing for charlie sheen!
MIXED FRUIT SALAD: The US House of Representatives.
BEST ANTIOXIDANT: Barack Obama.
FIRST BIOFLAVONOID: Michele Obama
TRUE BLUEBERRY: Mitt Romney
NUTTIER THAN A FRUIT CAKE: Ron Paul tied-neck and neck- with the entire republican party!

word-to-ya-muthas
Cave_Man
3 / 5 (4) Jul 14, 2011
SUPERFRUITS: Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, with a strong second place showing for charlie sheen!
MIXED FRUIT SALAD: The US House of Representatives.
BEST ANTIOXIDANT: Barack Obama.
FIRST BIOFLAVONOID: Michele Obama
TRUE BLUEBERRY: Mitt Romney
NUTTIER THAN A FRUIT CAKE: Ron Paul tied-neck and neck- with the entire republican party!

word-to-ya-muthas


I like Ron Paul, if only it were 10 years ago before his speech started to decline, I really hope he doesn't develop a neurological disorder because he is a great man.
Osiris1
1 / 5 (1) Jul 14, 2011
Might be nice to add Senator Boehner to the fruitcake category, although his species is more of the nightshade family. How doo yoo pronounce that anyway? 'Bay-ner' as in the bane of our nation, or 'bone-er' as in gonna make something happen that is a big mistake for our economy? I just don't know! Republikans say that taxing the rich will not produce funds, but I read in many places that over ninety percent of the wealth of this nation is held by less than a couple of percent of the corporations and real people...real real rich people. Doesn't that make the republicans untruthtellers, fools, or hypocrites?! Tax where the money is. It is only good sense. Times will only get tougher if this is not done. The French government, then a monarchy, refused to tax the rich long ago (the 'first estate'). The result was the revolution of 1789...'Alons Enfant de la Patria...'. But what does that make the 'tea partiers'? Reactionary fruit cakes
sstritt
not rated yet Jul 14, 2011
Might be nice to add Senator Boehner to the fruitcake category

He's not a Senator, he's Speaker of the House, Homer!
If you want anyone to take your Marxist rant seriously, at least get your facts straight.
210
3 / 5 (2) Jul 14, 2011
Might be nice to add Senator Boehner to the fruitcake category

He's not a Senator, he's Speaker of the House, Homer!
If you want anyone to take your Marxist rant seriously, at least get your facts straight.

Can a doctor also be a mister or miss? Can just anybody be a "Speaker of The House?" Does one publicly campaign to be elected Speaker of The House? NO!!! YOU HAVE TO BE A SENATOR and if you asked him what he was before he was speaker he would say," I was a senator and I am still a senator so tell that mean person who is posting on physorg.com to totally and completely chill and send me back those pictures I twittered to him last week when I thought he/she/they/it was a nice person!...we are breaking up!!!"
210
1 / 5 (1) Jul 14, 2011
Oh, and before you go there..."The Constitution does not require that the Speaker be an elected Member of Congress. No non-member has ever been elected Speaker."
Wikipedia
And maybe a House member can be speaker BUT, BUT, you are still a mean person!
word-to-ya-muthas
sstritt
not rated yet Jul 14, 2011
NO!!! YOU HAVE TO BE A SENATOR

I'm going to assume that you are not a citizen of the U.S. because you don't seem to have a good understanding of our Congress. It is a bicameral legislature comprised of two parts: 1: The house of Representatives and 2: The Senate.
John Boehner is a member of the House of Representatives, and was elected by the other members of the House to be Speaker of the House. He is not and never has been a Senator. Hope that clears it up.
210
1 / 5 (1) Jul 14, 2011
NO!!! YOU HAVE TO BE A SENATOR

I'm going to assume that you are not a citizen of the U.S. because you don't seem to have a good understanding of our Congress. It is a bicameral legislature comprised of two parts: 1: The house of Representatives and 2: The Senate.
John Boehner is a member of the House of Representatives, and was elected by the other members of the House to be Speaker of the House. He is not and never has been a Senator. Hope that clears it up.

Boehner STILL wants his ring and the pictures back, unless...you promise to be a nice person!
word-to-ya-muthas
Osiris1
1 / 5 (1) Jul 15, 2011
I thought they rounded up all those McCarthyite, John Bircher, don't put fluoride inda wadder right wingnut wackos in happy suits and butterfly nets and put them in the nut bins.....O I remember Ronald Reagan let them all out back in the seventies when he closed the crazy houses in a 'bid to save money' in California. Those soon found new homes in the prisons where they made a real happy society even more...as the Chinese say...'interesting times'. Anyway, if being a 'Marxist' is 'evil' to some, I am very happy to be on the side of the working people of this nation as opposed to the bloodsuckin wealthy exploiters of the poor who would want to balance the budget on the backs and blood of those least able to pay.
Javinator
not rated yet Jul 15, 2011
What the hell is going on with the comments on this article...

Although these blueberries are wild species that are not currently commercially available, the scientists believe that they have the potential to become a popular food item or health supplement if their high antioxidant content becomes better known.


Better known? Better marketed. If you market, they will come.