While most people are familiar with blueberries as an addition to smoothies, cereals or pies, few may have heard about their recent use in a study aimed at determining the fruits effect on cardiovascular health.
Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry announced that laboratory rodents fed blueberry peels and the leftovers from blueberry processing tended to have healthier cholesterol levels in comparison to those given a diet without blueberries.
Hamsters fed blueberries exhibited significantly healthier cholesterol levels than those fed on the diet without blueberries, said a team at the Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., which is the prime research branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
While scientists were unsure which of the fruits substances led to the dramatic improvement in circulatory health, they suggested that the fiber contained in the berries might have been involved.
Likewise, they noted, blueberries contain large amounts of polyphenols, a class of compounds sometimes added to dietary supplements, which support a balanced inflammatory response.
A similar study conducted earlier this year found that mice fed polyphenol-rich blueberries produced fewer fat cells.