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New Research Gives More Reasons to Include Berries in Your Diet

Researchers at the University of Turku in Finland recently found that adding more berries to your diet may reduce disease-causing inflammation as well as the risk of developing metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

Their findings were published in the March 2010 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers recruited 31 women with an average age of 43 to take part in the 20 week dietary intervention study.

The participants were additionally randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group was given 163g of an assortment of northern berries (buckthorn berry, lingonberry, bilberry and black currant) in conjunction with the dietary intervention. The second group only underwent the dietary intervention.

At the end of the study, the participants in the berry group saw a 23% reduction in a well established marker of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) called alanine aminotransferase. They also saw increases in levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone that is essential for various metabolic processes.

NAFLD is the build-up of excess fat in the liver cells which can result in inflammation of the liver and even lead to liver failure. Currently 40 million adults in the US alone are suffering from the debilitating and potentially fatal disease.

Since berries are high in flavonoids and phytochemicals, their health benefits extend much farther than protecting your liver and helping to avoid deadly metabolic diseases. Various berries have been linked to everything from decreasing the risk of bladder infections, improving your vision and reducing the risk of some cancers.

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