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Berries May Reduce Blood Sugar Spikes

Berries have far ranging health benefits due to their high levels of protective phytochemicals and flavanoids. According to a new study by researchers at the University of Kuopio in Finland, those benefits may also include blood sugar control.

Their findings were published in the April 2010 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

The study included 12 participants between 25-69 years of age. All of the participants were screened beforehand via blood tests and questionnaires. The questionnaires determined previous and current diseases, current medication, alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical activity and use of nutritional supplements.

Each participant was given two separate meals separated by 5 days. Both meals contained a similar profile and amounts of available carbohydrates, and contained 250 ml water, 35 g sucrose, 4.5 g glucose and 5.1 g fructose.

However, the first meal also included a berry puree made of bilberries, blackcurrants, cranberries and strawberries, and sweetened with sucrose.

The researchers found that after the berry meal the participants had a lower glycemic response, meaning their blood glucose levels spiked much less. A high glycemic response after eating is associated with an increased risk of obesity, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers believe that the berries reduced digestion and/or absorption of sucrose, resulting in the lower glycemic response.

Although these findings are still in the early stages, the researchers are hopeful that further research will verify the ability of berries to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Previous studies have found an association between various berries and decreasing the risk of bladder infections, improving your vision and reducing the risk of some cancers.

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