Blueberries and health
Blueberry is a high value crop globally. Both wild and cultivated blueberries are commercially available to consumers. Although mostly consumed as fresh or frozen, dried blueberries are also offered in the market. Yogurts, beverages, jams, and jellies made with blueberries are some of the products popular with consumers.
Blueberries are rich in several health-beneficial phytochemicals including phenolic compounds and vitamins. This article reviews the health implications of blueberry consumption. The review was limited to the research studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The impact of blueberry intake on cardiovascular functions, obesity, cancer, diabetes, cognitive performance, and gut microbiota was the focus of this review.
This review clearly revealed very broad health benefits of blueberry intake. However, it is evident that scientific studies on this topic are scarce. Indeed, there are only a few studies on the health effects of blueberries published in scientific journals. The majority of the investigations on this topic were carried out using animal models or cell cultures. Scarcity and limited size of the clinical studies in this field leave many questions about the effect of blueberry consumption on human health unanswered. Undoubtedly, there is a need for large-scale controlled and randomized clinical and epidemiological studies and meta-analyses of the data from such research. This would allow for an in-depth understanding of the effect of blueberries on health and the biological and metabolic pathways involved in disease mitigation and treatment.
Keywords: Blueberry, cancer, cardiovascular health, chemical composition, cognitive performance, diabetes, gut microbiota, obesity, phytochemicals
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