Blueberries lower pig cholesterol levels
Canadian researchers have discovered that supplementing
a pig's diet with blueberries may reduce cholesterol levels by over ten per
Feeding the animals a two per cent blueberry diet led
to reductions in total, LDL and HDL-cholesterol of 12, 15, and eight per cent,
respectively, as reported in the British Journal of Nutrition.
significance for humans lies in the fact that pigs have levels of LDL similar to
humans and are susceptible to diet-induced vascular disease, according to lead
researcher, Wilhelmina Kalt, from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Pigs can
also develop atherosclerotic plaques in the aorta and carotid artery, and have a
similar blood pressure and heart rate as humans.
The two per cent
blueberry diet is equivalent to approximately two cups of blueberries in the
human diet, suggested the researchers, giving a dose that could be
"...reasonably achieved in the adult human diet and suggests that the observed
effect from blueberry supplementation could occur in healthy humans,"
wrote Kalt and co-workers.
"In feeding trials, we found that blueberry
supplementation reduced plasma cholesterol levels more effectively when the
animals received a mostly plant-based diet than when they received a less
heart-healthy diet," said Kalt. "The soy, oats and barley contained in these
diets may have functioned synergistically with the blueberries to beneficially
affect plasma lipids."
The findings have been published on the website
â€¢ Nutra Ingredients
â€¢ Agriculture and Agri-Food
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