Lingonberries show promise for weight control

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Lingonberries show promise for weight control

Researchers from Sweden's Lund University have found a challenger for the acai berry's status as the world's "super berry."Lingonberries_red

Lingonberries, cultivated mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, were found to prevent weight gain, and lower blood sugar and cholesteral in group of mice fed a high-fat diet.

PhD student Lovisa Heyman explained that certain mice were fed a high-fat diet to encourage weight gain while others were fed low-fat diets. The mice were then given supplements of different berries common in Northern Europe like lingonberries, bilberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, prunes and blackberries.

For contrast, the team also included Brazilian acai berries, commonly touted as a health aid.

"In this study we gave mice a high fat diet and they became pretty obese but some mice were given supplements of different berries," Heyman said in a university publication.

"We could see that the mice that ate lingonberries and also blackcurrants or bilberries did not gain as much weight. They had lower blood glucose levels, they didn’t get a fattier liver."

In contrast, diabetes researcher Karin Berger said mice fed acai berries experienced greater weight gain and fattier livers.

"The results were quite surprising for us that lingonberries especially could almost completely prevent the weight gain of the high-fat diet. This seems like it’s good to eat lingonberries but we want to first to look at the mechanisms behind the effects," Berger said.

Researchers believe Lingonberries may have produced such results due to their polyphenol content.

Photo: Lingonberries, Rosendahl via Wikimedia Commons

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