Posted on Dec 14, 2011, 6 a.m.
A daily beverage containing wild blueberry powder helps to boost the levels of good bacteria in the gut.
Blueberries are high in anthocyanins and flavanols, two antioxidant flavonoid compounds, and previous studies report a wide range of health benefits, including to preserve brain function. Stefano Vendrame, from the Universita degli Studi di Milano (Italy), and colleagues enrolled 20 healthy men, average age 46 years and average body-mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2, and randomly assigned each subject to one of two groups: the first group consumed a daily 250-mL juice beverage containing 25 grams of wild blueberry powder, and the second group consumed a placebo drink every day. After six weeks, those in the group consuming the wild blueberry powder beverage showed increases in the GI populations of good bacteria – Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. Writing that: “Bifidobacteria, which have been largely proposed to be of benefit for the host, appeared to be selectively favored suggesting an important role for the polyphenols and fiber present in wild blueberries,” the study authors conclude that: “Results obtained suggest that regular consumption of a wild blueberry drink can positively modulate the composition of the intestinal microbiota.”
Stefano Vendrame, Simone Guglielmetti, Patrizia Riso, Stefania Arioli, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Marisa Porrini. “Six-Week Consumption of a Wild Blueberry Powder Drink Increases Bifidobacteria in the Human Gut.” J Agricultural & Food Chemistry, November 7, 2011.