Blueberries May Alter Gut Bacteria, Improve Immune Health
Bifidobacterium longum infantis is a bacteria that has been linked with improved immune health. A recent study suggests that blueberries may be associated with improved gut and immune health, as consuming a wild blueberry powder drink was shown to improve levels of Bifidobacterium longum infantis.
Participants in the study included 20 men with an average age of 46 and an average BMI of 25 kg/m2. Over the course of six weeks, half of the group drank 250 ml of juice containing 25 g of wild blueberry powder while the other half drank a placebo.
Following a six week washout period, the groups switched interventions.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the men had increases in B. longum infantis from 5.9 to 6.3 log(10) cells/g after drinking the blueberry juice. In comparison, the placebo group went from 6.00 to 5.9 log(10) cells/g.
Researchers from the Universita degli Studi di Milano in Italy and the University of Maine conducted the study. It was published on August 28, 2013, in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
There are numerous other reasons to eat more blueberries. Blueberries have been shown to decrease the risk of dementia, aid in weight management, improve blood vessel function, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. They are easy to add to your diet because they go well with pancakes, salads and smoothies.