|Blueberries Counteract Intestinal Diseases|
|Tuesday, 09 February 2010 00:00|
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.