Bilberries Linked to Improved Cholesterol Levels
High levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol have been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. A recent study suggests that regularly consuming bilberries may significantly reduce LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol levels.
Participants in the study included 36 men and women who were given 150 g of bilberries daily for six weeks. There was no control or placebo group.
After 6 weeks, the participants had statistically significant decrease of 6% in total cholesterol levels, 7% in LDL cholesterol levels and 27% in triglycerides levels. They also had a 6% increase in HDL cholesterol levels.
The participants saw other improvements besides the blood lipid profile ones mentioned above. They also saw a 9% improvement in blood glucose levels, a 5% improvement in albumin levels, and a 9% improvement in gamma-glutamyltransferase levels in the liver when compared with baseline.
When the researchers examined the data based on gender, they found that men had improvements in all measures except LDL cholesterol, which showed a slight increase.
Researchers from Slovak University of Agriculture, University of Aveiro in Portugal, Comenius University in Bratislava, and Wroc?aw University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Poland conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 23, 2016, in Nutrition Research.
Previous studies suggest that bilberries, which are high in antioxidants, may help reduce inflammation and improve eye health. Bilberries resemble blueberries and can be eaten either fresh or dried, as a great addition to yogurt, oatmeal and salad.