by Vishnuprasad on  November 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM Health In Focus
Blueberry-Enriched Diet Can Improve Renal Function
Blueberry-enriched diet can be used as non-pharmacological therapy to delay the progression of Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a new research has shown.

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 is 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 oxidative stress.

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 kinases (p38MAPK).

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," researchers said.

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 infections.

3. The chlorogenic acid in the berry helps lower the blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes condition.

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 body.

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.

Source: Medindia

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