Wednesday Bubble: I’ve got the blues and it’s all good!

Posted by on Apr 22, 2009 in diabetes, heart disease, weight | 3 comments

I’ve got the blues this week; blueberries that is. And the news is all good!

Researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor are reporting that eating a diet rich in blue berries might reduce heart disease, protect against diabetes, and get rid of belly fat! Is this too good to be true? And what does this have to do with menopause anyway?

I’ve written previously on increased risk of heart disease and increased likelihood of gaining weight around the abdominal region as we age. So, if blueberries can potentially help to stave off both, that’s great news, right?

The research team studied the effect of a blueberry-enriched powder added to either a low-fat or high-fat diet in laboratory rats and compared them to rats receiving no blueberry powder.  The rats were of a particular breed that are prone to weight gain and being severely overweight.

After 90 days, rats receiving the blueberry powder (which comprised 2% of their total diet)  had less abdominal fat, and lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. They also showed improvements in  fasting blood glucose and insulin sensitivity, which measures the risk for diabetes and heart disease (namely metabolic syndrome), respectively.

What’s more, the benefits were even greater among rats fed the powder along with a low-fat diet: they had lower body weight, lower total fat mass, and reduced liver mass (which has been linked to obesity and insulin resistance) than rats in the other study groups. The researchers also reported positive changes in measures such as fat muscle tissue (which relates to fat-burning and storage) in rats fed the blueberry powder and a high-fat diet.

The beneficial effects of blueberries are believed to be possibly related to inherently high levels of an antioxidant  known as anthocyanins, which is responsible for blueberries’ colour.

Clearly, further research, is needed, particularly in humans. In the interim, eat some blueberries: they’re high in flavor, a great source of fiber and vitamins C and K, and low in fat. And may help combat some of the less attractive pitfalls of mid-life.


  1. 4-22-2009

    Nice post! I love blueberries, so many benefits from eating this low sugar berry. More proof that we just need to eat food in it’s natural state, more veggies/fruits/lean proteins/whole grains. Thanks, Liz!:)

    • 4-23-2009

      Rosy – there’s no definitive evidence that blueberries can do this and all that; we need more research. But in the meantime, adding them to your diet apparently can’t hurt!

  2. 4-24-2009

    I love this blog!

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