Wild Blueberries Show Prebiotic Potential

A rat study yields promising results for blueberries and gut health.

University of Maine researchers have uncovered what they believe to be prebiotic qualities in blueberries. When rats were fed a control diet or a wild blueberry–enriched diet for six weeks, those munching on berries displayed better biodegradation and metabolism of several unwanted compounds, including xenobiotic materials (chemicals foreign to the body) and Enterococcus bacteria, which are capable of causing infections.  Counts of a healthful bacteria known as Actinobacteria phylum also improved with the wild blueberry diet.

Lead researcher Vivian Chi-Hua Wu said that blueberry’s benefit to gut flora appears to be accompanied by a protective anti-inflammatory effect. Her team’s research complements previous work on animals and humans, finding benefits to microbial gut profiles after the consumption of various forms of wild blueberries.

FutureCeuticals (Momence, IL) processed the wild blueberry powder for this study.