Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blueberries counteract intestinal diseases

08.02.2010
It is already known that blueberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. New research from the Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden shows that blueberry fibre are important and can alleviate and protect against intestinal inflammations, such as ulcerative colitis. The protective effect is even better if the blueberries are eaten together with probiotics.

The project originated as an attempt to see whether various types of dietary fibre and health-promoting bacteria, so-called probiotic bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, can help alleviate and prevent the risk of ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer.

"But new knowledge of this field is also of interest to those who don't believe they run the risk of developing any intestinal diseases. In recent years the research world has been realizing that our health is governed to a great extent by what happens in our large intestine," explain Camilla Bränning, a PhD in Applied Nutrition and Åsa Håkansson, a doctoral candidate in Food Hygiene at the Division of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry.

The researchers tested various types of diets of blueberry husks, rye bran and oat bran with or without a mixture of probiotic bacteria. The results showed that the protective effect of blueberries was reinforced if they were eaten together with probiotics.

"The probiotics proved to have a protective effect on the liver, an organ that is often negatively impacted by intestinal inflammations," explains Åsa Håkansson.

Blueberries are rich in polyphenols, which have an antimicrobial and antioxidative effect. The combination of blueberries and probiotics reduced inflammation-inducing bacteria in the intestine at the same time as the number of health-promoting lactobacilla increased.

Åsa Håkansson and Camilla Bränning also noted that if blueberries are eaten together with probiotics, the content of butyric acid and propionic acid increased in the blood, two substances that are formed when fibre are broken down and that have previously been known to be important energy sources for intestinal cells. In recent years they have also been shown to favourably impact the immune defence. It seems as if the absorption of these components is facilitated by the presence of probiotics.

"What surprised us was that such a large share of the butyric acid not only was taken up by the intestinal cells but was also transported onward to the blood. Previously it was thought that the intestinal cells used all of the butyric acid, but this is not at all the case," says Camilla Bränning, who recently defended her dissertation on the subject.

"A further explanation for the extremely positive effect of blueberries may be that the blueberry fibre are not degraded to such a high degree in the large intestine. This means that inflammation-inducing substances do not come into contact with the mucous lining of the intestine but are embedded in the fibre instead. Then these substances are transported out of body together with the faeces," explains Camilla Bränning.

The researchers also found that rye bran was broken down in the large intestine, in the same place that ulcerative colitis and large-intestine cancer often occur, and that the rye bran provided a rich supply of butyric acid and propionic acid. On the other hand, the fibre in oat bran were degraded earlier in the large intestine. The most striking result, however, was that blueberries themselves had such a favourable effect compared with both rye bran and oat bran.

Some 15-20 percent of all Swedes suffer from stomach pains, diarrhoea, or constipation, complaints resulting from intestinal disorders and more undefined intestinal problems. The disease ulcerative colitis is one of the inflammatory intestinal diseases included under the general name IBD, inflammatory bowel diseases. It can lead to colorectal cancer and afflicts about 1,000 Swedes per year.

For more information, please contact Camilla Bränning, researcher in Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, phone: +46 (0)46-2224727, Camilla.Branning@appliednutrition.lth.se,

Åsa Håkansson, researcher in Food Hygiene, phone: +46 (0)46-2228326, Asa.Hakansson@appliednutrition.lth.se

Margareta Nyman, professor of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, phone: +46 (0)46-2224567, mobile: +46 (0)704-97 46 80, Margareta.Nyman@appliednutrition.lth.se,

Siv Ahrné, professor of Food Hygiene, phone: +46 (0)46-2228327, mobile: +46 (0)703-484 516, Siv.Ahrne@appliednutrition.lth.se.

Pressofficer Kristina Lindgärde, kristina.lindgarde@kansli.lth.se;
+46-709 753 500

Ingemar Björklund | idw
Further information:
http://www.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=12588&postid=1520883
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>