Cherries may help diabetes and heart disease

Tue, 01 May 2007
Cherries could have a major role to play in lowering cholesterol, blood sugar, liver fat, oxidative stress and increase the production of a specific molecule that aids bodily coping with sugar and fat.

The results were revealed by a study at the University of Michigan Health system. The research team based their report on a study involving rats who had powdered tart cherries as a part of their diet .

The team found a strong correlation between the intake of cherries and changes in metabolic measurements. Antioxidant compounds found in cherries, known as anthocyanins, are thought to be responsible. The results were unveiled at an oral presentation at Experimental Biology 2007, held in Washington.

A U-M research associate, E. Mitchell Seymour, reportedly commented: "Rats fed tart cherries as 1 percent of their total diet had reduced markers of metabolic syndrome. Previous research by other groups studied pure anthocyanin compounds rather than anthocyanin-containing whole foods, and they used concentrations of anthocyanins that would be very difficult if not impossible to obtain in the diet. We are interested in a whole-foods approach, using amounts of fruit that are relevant to human diets . We are enthusiastic about the findings that tart cherries conferred these beneficial effects at such a modest daily intake."
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