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Wild Blueberries May Reduce DNA Damage

Wild blueberries have an antioxidant count that eclipses farm grown blueberries and most other fruits. This impressive superfruit has been shown to boost health benefits in numerous studies and the latest suggests that drinking wild blueberry juice may actually protect DNA from oxidative damage.

Study participants included 18 men with an average age of 48 and a minimum of one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Over the course of six weeks, the men drank a wild blueberry juice containing 375 mg of anthocyanins, the antioxidant found in blueberries.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a reduction in DNA damage in white blood cells from 12.5% to 9.6% in the juice group but not the placebo group. The researchers also exposed blood to hydrogen peroxide in the lab, creating DNA damage. With that investigation, they noted a reduction from 45.8% to 37.2% in overall DNA damage in the juice group, but not the placebo group.

The results were particularly notable in smokers and ex-smokers when compared with non-smokers.

The researchers were based at the Universita degli Studi Di Milano in Italy and the University of Maine. Their results were published online ahead of print on June 25, 2012 in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Previous studies have shown that the high antioxidant count of wild blueberries is responsible for health benefits including improved blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, and preventing cholesterol from being oxidized. Some studies even suggest that consuming wild blueberries could reduce the risk of developing cancer.

If you're looking to gain some of the health benefits seen here, keep in mind that these studies are looking specifically at wild blueberries, not the ones that you can pick up at your local market. Wild blueberries tend to have a higher antioxidant count because they grow in harsh conditions, forcing the fruit to develop higher antioxidants counts in order to protect themselves. A supplement in juice or powder form is probably the most efficient way to consume wild blueberries.

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