Blueberries, Probiotics Combat Gut Disease

February 9, 2010

1 Min Read
Blueberries, Probiotics Combat Gut Disease

LUND, SwedenNew research from Lund University shows that blueberry fiber 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.

Researchers examined whether various types of dietary fiber 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. They 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 combination of blueberries and probiotics reduced inflammation-inducing bacteria in the intestine at the same time as the number of health-promoting lactobacilla increased.

Researchers also noted if blueberries are eaten together with probiotics, the content of butyric acid and propionic acid increased in the blood, two substances that are formed when fiber are broken down and that have previously been known to be important energy sources for intestinal cells. They also found that rye bran was broken down in the large intestine, in the same place that ulcerative colitis and large-intestine cancer often occur, and that the rye bran provided a rich supply of butyric acid and propionic acid. On the other hand, the fiber in oat bran was degraded earlier in the large intestine. The most striking result, however, was that blueberries themselves had such a favorable effect compared with both rye bran and oat bran.

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