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Blueberry Drink Protects Mice From Obesity, Diabetes

Lab results indicate that juice/bacteria combination could help people, too

FRIDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Blueberry juice with a little added bacteria may one day help people fight obesity and diabetes.

Canadian researchers found that juice "biotransformed" with bacteria from the fruit's skin decreased hyperglycemia in diabetic mice and protected young pre-diabetic mice from developing obesity and diabetes, according to a study appearing online in August in the International Journal of Obesity.

"Results of this study clearly show that biotransformed blueberry juice has strong anti-obesity and anti-diabetic potential," senior author Pierre S. Haddad, a pharmacology professor at the University of Montreal's Faculty of Medicine, said in a university news release. "Biotransformed blueberry juice may represent a novel therapeutic agent."

The bacteria Serratia vaccinii, a new strain isolated from the blueberry, appeared to work by enhancing the fruit's natural antioxidant effects. The blood glucose levels of lab mice, which were genetically predisposed to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and hypertension, fell by 35 percent after three days of drinking the super juice.

"These mice were an excellent model that closely resembles obesity and obesity-linked type 2 diabetes in humans," Haddad added.

More information

The American Diabetes Association has more about diabetes.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: University of Montreal, news release, Sept. 1, 2009

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