Over 20 Years of Health Research

Since 1997, the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA) has been collaborating with elite scientists to help study the health benefits of wild blueberries. WBANA is dedicated to furthering research that explores the health potential of wild blueberries and annually funds research studies that help advance the understanding of the nutritional and human health benefits of wild blueberries.

Each year, WBANA has hosts the Wild Blueberry Health Research Summit in Bar Harbor, Maine, a worldwide gathering of renowned scientists and researchers from leading institutions representing broad disciplines — from cardiovascular health to cancer to heart disease, osteoporosis, neurological diseases of aging, and more. Their work is leading the way to learn more about the health benefits of wild blueberries, and their findings, which use rigorous methodology, are documented in a growing number of published studies on the potential health and disease-fighting benefits of wild blueberries. All published research studies are written by and submitted to peer-reviewed journals by the researcher, independent of WBANA.

Below are scientific research papers that provide more detail into the role wild blueberries may play in promoting human health.

Antioxidant Supplementation in the Treatment of Aging-Associated Diseases

Conti, Valeria; Izzo, Viviana; Corbi, Graziamaria; Russomanno, Giusy; Manzo, Valentina; De Lise, Federica; Di Donato, Alberto; Filippelli, Amelia
View Article
Show Details

Oxidative stress is generally considered as the consequence of an imbalance between pro- and antioxidants species, which often results into indiscriminate and global damage at the organismal level. Elderly people are more susceptible to oxidative stress and this depends, almost in part, from a decreased performance of their endogenous antioxidant system. As many studies reported an inverse correlation between systemic levels of antioxidants and several diseases, primarily cardiovascular diseases, but also diabetes and neurological disorders, antioxidant supplementation has been foreseen as an effective preventive and therapeutic intervention for aging-associated pathologies. However, the expectations of this therapeutic approach have often been partially disappointed by clinical trials. The interplay of both endogenous and exogenous antioxidants with the systemic redox system is very complex and represents an issue that is still under debate. In this review a selection of recent clinical studies concerning antioxidants supplementation and the evaluation of their influence in aging-related diseases is analyzed. The controversial outcomes of antioxidants supplementation therapies, which might partially depend from an underestimation of the patient specific metabolic demand and genetic background, are presented. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Chemopreventive and Therapeutic Effects of Edible Berries: A Focus on Colon Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Afrin, Sadia; Giampieri, Francesca; Gasparrini, Massimiliano; Forbes-Hernandez, Tamara Y.; Varela-López, Alfonso; Quiles, José L.; Mezzetti, Bruno; Battino, Maurizio
View Article
Show Details

Colon cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases across the world. Numerous epidemiological studies indicate that diets rich in fruit, such as berries, provide significant health benefits against several types of cancer, including colon cancer. The anticancer activities of berries are attributed to their high content of phytochemicals and to their relevant antioxidant properties. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that berries and their bioactive components exert therapeutic and preventive effects against colon cancer by the suppression of inflammation, oxidative stress, proliferation and angiogenesis, through the modulation of multiple signaling pathways such as NF-κB, Wnt/β-catenin, PI3K/AKT/PKB/mTOR, and ERK/MAPK. Based on the exciting outcomes of preclinical studies, a few berries have advanced to the clinical phase. A limited number of human studies have shown that consumption of berries can prevent colorectal cancer, especially in patients at high risk (familial adenopolyposis or aberrant crypt foci, and inflammatory bowel diseases). In this review, we aim to highlight the findings of berries and their bioactive compounds in colon cancer from in vitro and in vivo studies, both on animals and humans. Thus, this review could be a useful step towards the next phase of berry research in colon cancer. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Copyright of Molecules is the property of MDPI Publishing and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)


Effects of Vaccinium Berries on Serum Lipids: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Zhu, Y.; Miao, Y.; Meng, Z.; Zhong, Y.
View Article
Show Details

The beneficial effects of anthocyanins consumption on cardiovascular risk are supported by mechanistic and epidemiologic evidence. In order to explore the effects of Vaccinium berries rich in anthocyanins on serum lipids, we conducted a meta-analysis of relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Sixteen studies with 1109 subjects were included in this meta-analysis. Significant heterogeneity confirmed differential effects between Vaccinium subclasses. The whortleberry group is significantly superior to placebo in lipids improvement. Besides, bilberry groups show significant differences in reducing LDL-C and increasing HDL-C in comparison with other treatments. For many of the other subgroups and comparison arms, there was insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about efficacy.


Antioxidant Phytochemicals for the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases

Yu-Jie, Zhang; Ren-You, Gan; Sha, Li; Yue, Zhou; An-Na, Li; Dong-Ping, Xu; Hua-Bin, Li
View Article
Show Details

Overproduction of oxidants (reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species) in the human body is responsible for the pathogenesis of some diseases. The scavenging of these oxidants is thought to be an effective measure to depress the level of oxidative stress of organisms. It has been reported that intake of vegetables and fruits is inversely associated with the risk of many chronic diseases, and antioxidant phytochemicals in vegetables and fruits are considered to be responsible for these health benefits. Antioxidant phytochemicals can be found in many foods and medicinal plants, and play an important role in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases caused by oxidative stress. They often possess strong antioxidant and free radical scavenging abilities, as well as anti-inflammatory action, which are also the basis of other bioactivities and health benefits, such as anticancer, anti-aging, and protective action for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, obesity and neurodegenerative diseases. This review summarizes recent progress on the health benefits of antioxidant phytochemicals, and discusses their potential mechanisms in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Copyright of Molecules is the property of MDPI Publishing and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)


Impact of Natural Juice Consumption on Plasma Antioxidant Status: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Tonin, Fernanda S.; Steimbach, Laiza M.; Wiens, Astrid; Perlin, Cássio M.; Pontarolo, Roberto
View Article
Show Details

Background: Oxidative stress may lead to overproduction of reactive species and a decrease in antioxidant defenses, resulting in chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. The consumption of natural compounds with an antioxidant profile may be a preventive alternative. Therefore, we aimed to obtain evidence regarding the potential antioxidant activity of juices in human plasma. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed, which included randomized controlled trials that compared the use of fruit or vegetable juices vs. placebo or other beverages. An electronic search was conducted in PubMed, Scopus, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, and SciELO. The outcome measures extracted were related to antioxidant status, e.g., vitamin C, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT) levels and reduction in malondialdehyde (MDA) and antioxidant capacity measured as TEAC. Results: Twenty-eight trials were identified (n = 1089), of which 16 were used for meta-analysis. No significant differences were observed between juices and placebo with regard to TEAC, SOD, and CAT. However, juices were superior to control in enhancing vitamin C and reducing MDA. Conclusions: Natural juices are possible candidates for the management of oxidative stress. The effects of juices should be further investigated by conducting larger and well-defined trials of longer duration. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Copyright of Molecules is the property of MDPI Publishing and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)


Blueberries and metabolic syndrome

Mizuno, C. S.; Rimando, A. M.
Show Details

Effects of blueberries on metabolic syndrome are reviewed with reference to studies demonstrating beneficial influence of blueberries on type 2 diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia. Protective role of individual blueberry constituents (particularly phenols) against metabolic syndrome disorders is also considered.


Berries as chemopreventive dietary constituents–a mechanistic approach with the ApcMin/+ mouse

Mutanen, M.; Pajari, A. M.; Paivarinta, E.; Misikangas, M.; Rajakangas, J.; Marttinen, M.; Oikarinen, S.
View Article
Show Details

Berries contain a number of compounds that are proposed to have anticarcinogenic properties. We wanted to see if pure ellagic acid, natural ellagitannins and three wild berries have any effect on the adenoma formation in Apc- mutated Min/+ mice. Min/+ mice were fed high-fat AIN93-G diets containing 10% (w/w) freeze-dried bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), cloudberry seeds or cloudberry pulp or pure ellagic acid at 1564 mg/kg for 10 weeks. beta-Catenin and cyclin D1 protein levels in the adenomas and in the normal-appearing mucosa were determined by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Early changes in gene expression in the normal-appearing mucosa were analyzed by Affymetrix microarrays. Three wild berries significantly reduced tumour number (15-30%, p < 0.05), and cloudberry and lingonberry also reduced tumour size by over 60% (p < 0.01). Cloudberry resulted in decreased levels of nuclear beta-catenin and cyclin D1 and lingonberry in the level of cyclin D1 in the large adenomas (p < 0.05). Affymetrix microarrays revealed changes in genes implicated in colon carcinogenesis, including the decreased expression of the adenosine deaminase, ecto-5f-nucleotidase and PGE2 receptor subtype EP4. Ellagic acid had no effect on the number or size of adenomas in the distal or total small intestine but it increased adenoma size in the duodenum when compared with the control diet (p < 0.05). Neither cloudberry seed nor pulp had any effect on the adenoma formation. Berries seem to have great potential as a source of chemopreventive components.


Anthocyanins and heart health

Mazza, G. J.
Show Details

Anthocyanins are the largest group of water-soluble pigments in the plant kingdom and belong to the family of compounds known as flavonoids. Major sources of anthocyanins are blueberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, black currants, purple grapes and red wine. In recent years several studies have shown that anthocyanins display a wide range of biological activities including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-carcinogenic activities. In addition they display a variety of effects on blood vessels, platelets and lipoproteins able to reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases. However, until the absorption and metabolic fate of anthocyanins in vivo is unravelled, it would be unwise to conclude that a high consumption of them will reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Long-term intervention trials must be properly designed and carried out to provide definite proof. In the meantime a more complete knowledge of the identity of anthocyanin metabolites and their tissue distribution should be reached.


Anthocyanosides of Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) for night vision–a systematic review of placebo-controlled trials

Kramer, J. H.
View Article
Show Details

Comment on Surv Ophthalmol. 2004 Jan-Feb;49(1):38-50.


Health Effects of Vaccinium myrtillus L.: Evaluation of Efficacy and Technological Strategies for Preservation of Active Ingredients

Smeriglio, A.; Monteleone, D.; Trombetta, D.
Show Details

Bilberries are a rich dietary source of various phytonutrients, including anthocyanins which contribute greatly to their antioxidant capacity and have demonstrated a broad spectrum of biomedical functions. These include protection against cardiovascular disorders, age-induced oxidative stress, inflammatory responses and several degenerative diseases. Berry anthocyanins also improve neuronal and cognitive brain functions, ocular health as well as protecting genomic DNA integrity. In recent years, sales of many dietary supplements/pharmaceutical products containing anthocyanins in various dosages and formulations have been made by advertising their wide range of beneficial effects. However, there is a heightened risk of distributing deteriorated formulations to consumers due to lax regulations, in particular those applicable to phytochemical characterization and extract standardization, and in terms of quality regarding the stability of anthocyanins. Anthocyanin pigments readily degrade during industrial processing and this can have a dramatic impact on color quality and may also affect nutritional/pharmaceutical properties. This review aims to summarize the main health effects of bilberry extract used in several food supplements/pharmaceutical formulations focusing on some important aspects of anthocyanin degradation during processing and storage. It will also describe the main technological strategies which can give active ingredients greater stability, solubility and dispersibility in order to enhance formulation quality which is of great interest to the consumer and industry due to its direct and indirect impact on consumer health.


1 126 127 128 129 130 131

Looking for more health research?

Contact KIT BROIHIER, resident nutrition adviser to the Wild Blueberry Association of North America

Email Kit

Kit Broihier, MS, RD, LD is the Nutrition advisor and spokesperson for the Wild Blueberry Association of North America. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a Masters Degree in Nutrition and is the owner of NutriComm Inc., a food and nutrition communications consulting company.

Ms. Broihier received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Michigan State University and a Master of Science degree in Nutrition Communications from Boston University.