Blueberry-enriched diet can be used as non-pharmacological therapy
to delay the progression of Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a new research has
MetS, a group of risk factors that increases your risk for cardio-renal
diseases and other health issues, such as diabetes and stroke, occurs in some
20-25% of the world population.
It develops as a result of an imbalance among dietary intake,
inactive lifestyle and glucose metabolism. Scientifically, all these factors play
a vital role in proper functioning of the kidneys.
Researchers tested the hypothesis that inflammation-induced renal damage
triggered by the activation of TLR4, and subsequent modulation of
redox-sensitive molecules and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway.
In the clinical trial, lean and obese Zucker rats (LZR and OZR) were randomly divided into four
different groups, and two groups were fed blueberry-enriched diet and others
with an isocaloric-controlled diet.
All the rats were subjected to acute determination of renal plasma
flow (RPF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) at the end of the 15th week
feeding period. Rats were euthanized and kidneys were examined thoroughly.
Control Zucker rats showed low glucose tolerance and increased
Gene and protein expression levels of TLR4 were higher and this was
accompanied by increased renal pathology with extensive albuminuria and decline
in antioxidant levels in OZR.
In addition, the rats had increased phosphorylation (addition
of a phosphate group to a protein or other organic molecule) of
extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein
It is found that blueberry-fed OZR exhibited significant
improvements in all these parameters compared to control rats.
Researchers concluded that blueberries protect against chronic
kidney disease in the rat model of metabolic syndrome
by attenuating TLR4
expression and reducing oxidative stress in the kidney.
"Though there are several pharmacological therapeutics to combat the
factors that lead to MetS, most of them have serious side effects. Therefore, a
non-pharmacological approach to delay MetS progression is most significant,"
Health Facts of Blueberries
Blueberries offer many nutritional benefits
. Low in calories and fat, blueberries are regarded as a super-fruit thanks to their levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
From their rich color to their wonderful qualities, blueberries can provide you with brighter vision and healthy brain function.
Take a look at the six exciting reasons below for the facts as to why you should include this powerful fruit in your daily diet.
1. Blueberries are very low in calories. One cup or 148 g fresh berries provide only 84.4
calories. They possess important plant-nutrients such as soluble dietary fiber,
minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute hugely towards
the finest health and wellness.
2. Blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants. The phyto-chemical
compounds in the fruit help rid destructive oxygen-derived free radicals from
the body, and thereby, protect the human body against cancers, aging and
3. The chlorogenic acid in the berry helps lower the blood sugar
levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes
4. Vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E in these berries work as
potent anti-oxidants, which help limit free radical mediated injury to the
5. Vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folates and pantothenic acid
in blueberries help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
6. The berry contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese,
copper, iron and zinc. Potassium helps control the heart rate and the blood
pressure, Manganese is used as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme,
superoxide dismutase, Copper is necessary for the production of red blood cells
and Iron is required for the red blood cell formation.