Canadian scientists have revealed that biotransformed blueberry juice holds great promise for treating obesity and diabetes.
The research team from the Universite de Montreal, the Institut Armand-Frappier and the Universite de Moncton have found that juice extracted from North American lowbush blueberries, biotransformed with bacteria from the skin of the fruit can help fight obesity and diabetes.
"Results of this study clearly show that biotransformed blueberry juice has strong anti-obesity and anti-diabetic potential," said senior author Pierre S. Haddad, a pharmacology professor at the Universite de Montreal's Faculty of Medicine.
"Biotransformed blueberry juice may represent a novel therapeutic agent, since it decreases hyperglycemia in diabetic mice and can protect young pre-diabetic mice from developing obesity and diabetes," Haddad added.
In the new study, the researchers tested the effect of biotransformed blueberry juice on a group of mice prone to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and hypertension.
It showed that incorporating biotransformed blueberry juice into the water of mice reduced their food intake and their body weight.
"These mice were an excellent model that closely resembles obesity and obesity-linked type 2 diabetes in humans," said Haddad.
"Consumption of fermented blueberry juice gradually and significantly reduced high blood glucose levels in diabetic mice. After three days, our mice subjects reduced their glycemia levels by 35 percent," said Tri Vuong, lead author and recent PhD graduate from the Universite de Montreal's Department of Pharmacology.
Biotransformation of the blueberry juice was achieved with a new strain of bacteria isolated from the blueberry flora, specifically called Serratia vaccinii, which increases the fruit's antioxidant effects.
"The identification of the active compounds in biotransformed blueberry juice may result in the discovery of promising new antiobesity and antidiabetic molecules," Haddad added.
The study is published in the International Journal of Obesity.