Lingonberries can halt weight gain, lower blood sugar
The açai berry may get all the good press when it comes to health benefits, but a new study reveals that lingonberries may be effective at preventing weight gain.
Mice who were fed a high-fat diet almost completely avoided weight gain, say researchers from Lund University in Sweden. The açai berry, on the other hand, led to increased weight gain.
Lingonberries, which are a staple in Scandanavian food culture, were also shown to lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol, the researchers said.
The team specifically used a type of mouse that stores fat easily and could therefore be compared to a human. Some of the mice in the study were fed a low-fat diet, while the majority were fed a diet high in fat. The groups were then broken down into smaller groups that were fed different kinds of berries: lingonberries, raspberries, blackberries, crowberries, prunes and açai berries, to name a few.
At the end of the study, the mice who ate the lingonberries had the best results by far - they hadn't put on more weight, and their blood sugars and insulin readings were comparable to the mice who were fed a low-fat diet.
More research needed
The researchers concluded that while the mice ate more lingonberries than would be normal in a human diet, the results suggest that how lingonberries affect health is an area that merits more research. The berries' health properties may lie in their high polyphenol count, the team said.
"Up to 20 percent of our mice's diet was lingonberries," the authors explained. "It isn't realistic for humans to eat such a high proportion. However, the goal is not to produce such dramatic effects as in the 'high-fat' mice, but rather to prevent obesity and diabetes by supplementing a more normal diet with berries."
Source: Science Daily