Posted on Aug 09, 2012, 6 a.m.
Consuming juice from wild blueberries helps to protect DNA from damage, thereby potentially decreasing a person's risk of cardiovascular disease.
Wild blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium) are rich in phytochemicals such as polyphenols including flavonols, phenolic acids and anthocyanins, compounds for which previous studies have reported an association with reduced risk of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. Patrizia Riso, from the University of Milan (Italy), and colleagues enrolled 18 men, average age 48 years with at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, to participate in a six-week long study. Participants consumed a daily glass of wild blueberry juice, or placebo. Among those consuming the juice, the researchers observed that DNA damage in white blood cells was reduced from 12.5% to 9.6%, whereas no changes were observed in the placebo group. As well, after exposing blood cells to hydrogen peroxide, DNA damage was reduced from 45.8% to 37.2% among the juice group, with no changes observed in the placebo group. The study authors conclude that: "the consumption of the [wild blueberry] drink for 6 weeks significantly reduced the levels of oxidized DNA bases and increased the resistance to oxidatively induced DNA damage.”
Patrizia Riso, Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Cristian Del Bo’, Daniela Martini and Jonica Campolo, et al. “Effect of a wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) drink intervention on markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and endothelial function in humans with cardiovascular risk factors.” European Journal of Nutrition, 25 June 2012.