Blueberries may inhibit development of fat cells

April 10, 2011

The benefits of blueberry consumption have been demonstrated in several nutrition studies, more specifically the cardio-protective benefits derived from their high polyphenol content. Blueberries have shown potential to have a positive effect on everything from aging to metabolic syndrome. Recently, a researcher from Texas Woman's University (TWU) in Denton, TX, examined whether blueberries could play a role in reducing one of the world's greatest health challenges: obesity. Shiwani Moghe, MS, a graduate student at TWU, decided to evaluate whether blueberry polyphenols play a role in adipocyte differentiation, the process in which a relatively unspecialized cell acquires specialized features of an adipocyte, an animal connective tissue cell specialized for the synthesis and storage of fat. Plant polyphenols have been shown to fight adipogenesis, which is the development of fat cells, and induce lipolysis, which is the breakdown of lipids/fat. Moghe will present her research at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting for the American Society for Nutrition on Sunday, April 10, at 12:45 pm.

"I wanted to see if using blueberry polyphenols could inhibit obesity at a molecular stage," said Moghe. The study was performed in tissue cultures taken from mice. The polyphenols showed a dose-dependent suppression of adipocyte differentiation. The lipid content in the control group was significantly higher than the content of the tissue given three doses of blueberry polyphenols. The highest dose of blueberry polyphenols yielded a 73% decrease in lipids; the lowest dose showed a 27% decrease.

"We still need to test this dose in humans, to make sure there are no adverse effects, and to see if the doses are as effective. This is a burgeoning area of research. Determining the best dose for humans will be important," said Moghe. "The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body."

These preliminary results contribute more items to the laundry list of benefits related to blueberries, which have already been shown to mitigate health conditions like cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
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About Experimental Biology 2011

Experimental Biology is an annual gathering of six scientific societies that this year is expected to draw 13,000-plus independent scientists and exhibitors. The American Society for Nutrition (ASN) is a co-sponsor of the meeting along with the American Association of Anatomists (AAA), American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP), American Physiological Society (APS) and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).

About the American Society for Nutrition

The American Society for Nutrition (ASN) is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. ASN is dedicated to bringing together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. Founded in 1928, ASN publishes The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), The Journal of Nutrition (JN), and Advances in Nutrition and provides a wide range of education and professional development opportunities to advance nutrition research, practice, and education. Visit ASN online at www.nutrition.org.

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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