April 26, 2010
ANAHEIM, Calif.Antioxidant-rich chokeberries, which previously have been shown to combat cancer and obesity, may improve blood sugar and the function of insulin, according to new research presented at the Experimental Biology 2010 meeting on April 25.
USDA researchers made 18 male rats pre-diabetic or insulin insensitive by feeding them a fructose-rich diet for six weeks. They then randomized the animals to continue drinking either pure water or water spiked with low or high levels of chokeberry extract. After six weeks, the groups were compared in terms of body weight, body fat, blood glucose regulation and molecular markers for inflammation.
The rats that consumed chokeberry-spiked water weighed less than the controls; both levels of chokeberry had the same effect in this regard. Similar beneficial effects of chokeberry consumption were found for body fat. They also discovered that rats that drank chokeberry extract had lower blood glucose and reduced levels of plasma triglycerides, cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol when compared to the control animals. The researchers also documented numerous alterations in expression of genes that would likely lead to reduced chronic inflammation and perhaps even lower cancer risk.
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