Blueberry consumption has been shown to have a positive effect on pretty much everything, from aging to metabolic syndrome. Now, scientists say blueberries fight adipogenesis, which is the development of fat cells, and induce lipolysis, which is the breakdown of fat - at least in the lab.
Texas Woman's University researcher Shiwani Moghe 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 connective tissue cell specialized for the synthesis and storage of fat.
"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 lipid 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 percent decrease in lipids; the lowest dose showed a 27 percent 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," said Moghe. "The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body."
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Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology