Bilberries, also known as wild blueberries can reduce the adverse effects of a high-fat diet such as high blood pressure, nutrition derived inflammation and cardiovascular diseases, a study shows for the first time with scientific research to the effect.
“Bilberries reduce the development of systemic inflammation and prevent the progression of chronic hypertension, thus supporting their potential role in alleviating the adverse health effects associated with developing obesity,” said the researchers from University of Eastern Finland.
The beneficial health effects of bilberries are thought to be because of a component called polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, the levels of which are significantly higher in bilberries than in commercially cultivated blueberries.
The study focused on the health effects of bilberries on mice that were fed high-fat diet for a period of 3 months. Some of the mice under study were fed either 5 percent or 10 percent of freeze-dried bilberries.
Bilberries diminished the pro-inflammatory effects of the high-fat diet, indicated by an altered cytokine protein profile and a reduced relative prevalence of inflammation supporting T-cells, found the study after three months.
In addition, bilberries also prevented elevated blood pressure caused by the high-fat diet, the findings showed. The study has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.