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Life Extension Magazine March 2011


Impact of dietary polyphenols on carbohydrate metabolism.

Polyphenols, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins and resveratrol, are a large and heterogeneous group of phytochemicals in plant-based foods, such as tea, coffee, wine, cocoa, cereal grains, soy, fruits, and berries. Growing evidence indicates that various dietary polyphenols may influence carbohydrate metabolism at many levels. In animal models and a limited number of human studies carried out so far, polyphenols and foods or beverages rich in polyphenols have attenuated postprandial glycemic responses and fasting hyperglycemia, and improved acute insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. The possible mechanisms include inhibition of carbohydrate digestion and glucose absorption in the intestine, stimulation of insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta-cells, modulation of glucose release from the liver, activation of insulin receptors and glucose uptake in the insulin-sensitive tissues, and modulation of intracellular signalling pathways and gene expression. The positive effects of polyphenols on glucose homeostasis observed in a large number of in vitro and animal models are supported by epidemiological evidence on polyphenol-rich diets. To confirm the implications of polyphenol consumption for prevention of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and eventually type 2 diabetes, human trials with well-defined diets, controlled study designs and clinically relevant end-points together with holistic approaches e.g., systems biology profiling technologies are needed.

Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Mar 31;11(4):1365-402

Bioactives in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in obese, insulin-resistant men and women.

Dietary supplementation with whole blueberries in a preclinical study resulted in a reduction in glucose concentrations over time. We sought to evaluate the effect of daily dietary supplementation with bioactives from blueberries on whole-body insulin sensitivity in men and women. A double-blinded, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical study design was used. After screening to resolve study eligibility, baseline (wk 0) insulin sensitivity was measured on 32 obese, nondiabetic, and insulin-resistant subjects using a high-dose hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp (insulin infusion of 120 mU(861 pmol)⋅m(-2)⋅min(-1)). Serum inflammatory biomarkers and adiposity were measured at baseline. At the end of the study, insulin sensitivity, inflammatory biomarkers, and adiposity were reassessed. Participants were randomized to consume either a smoothie containing 22.5 g blueberry bioactives (blueberry group, n = 15) or a smoothie of equal nutritional value without added blueberry bioactives (placebo group, n = 17) twice daily for 6 wk. Both groups were instructed to maintain their body weight by reducing ad libitum intake by an amount equal to the energy intake of the smoothies. Participants’ body weights were evaluated weekly and 3-d food records were collected at baseline, the middle, and end of the study. The mean change in insulin sensitivity improved more in the blueberry group (1.7 ± 0.5 mg⋅kg FFM(-1)⋅min(-1)) than in the placebo group (0.4 ± 0.4 mg⋅kg FFM(-1)⋅min(-1)) (P = 0.04). Insulin sensitivity was enhanced in the blueberry group at the end of the study without significant changes in adiposity, energy intake, and inflammatory biomarkers. In conclusion, daily dietary supplementation with bioactives from whole blueberries improved insulin sensitivity in obese, nondiabetic, and insulin-resistant participants.

J Nutr. 2010 Oct;140(10):1764-8

Effect of a dietary supplement containing blueberry and sea buckthorn concentrate on antioxidant capacity in type 1 diabetic children.

Many studies have shown that oxidative stress plays an important role in the etiology of diabetes and its complications. New methods of treatment for prevention and control of this disease is a priority for the international scientific community. METHODS: We investigated the relationship between the glycated hemoglobin, C peptide and two antioxidant enzymes. Thirty type 1 diabetic children were treated with a blueberry and sea buckthorn concentrate for two months. RESULTS: After two months of administering the product to diabetic children, the erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity was significantly higher (p < 0.05). Levels of glycated hemoglobin were significantly lower (p < 0.05). The activity of whole blood glutathione peroxidase was moderately increased but the difference was not statistically significant. C peptide concentration was significantly higher after treatment with this dietary supplement (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: These results suggest that treatment with this dietary supplement has a beneficial effect in the treatment of type 1 diabetic children and it should be considered as a phytotherapeutic product in the fight against diabetes mellitus.

Acta Physiol Hung. 2008 Dec;95(4):383-93

Anti-diabetic properties of the Canadian lowbush blueberry Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.

Incidence of type II diabetes is rapidly increasing worldwide. In order to identify complementary or alternative approaches to existing medications, we studied anti-diabetic properties of Vaccinium angustifolium Ait., a natural health product recommended for diabetes treatment in Canada. Ethanol extracts of root, stem, leaf, and fruit were tested at 12.5 microg/ml for anti-diabetic activity in peripheral tissues and pancreatic beta cells using a variety of cell-based bioassays. Specifically, we assessed: (1) deoxyglucose uptake in differentiated C2C12 muscle cells and 3T3-L1 adipocytes; (2) glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in beta TC-tet pancreatic beta cells; (3) beta cell proliferation in beta TC-tet cells; (4) lipid accumulation in differentiating 3T3-L1 cells; (5) protection against glucose toxicity in PC12 cells. Root, stem, and leaf extracts significantly enhanced glucose transport in C2C12 cells by 15-25% in presence and absence of insulin after 20 h of incubation; no enhancement resulted from a 1 h exposure. In 3T3 cells, only the root and stem extracts enhanced uptake, and this effect was greater after 1 h than after 20 h; uptake was increased by up to 75% in absence of insulin. GSIS was potentiated by a small amount in growth-arrested beta TC-tet cells incubated overnight with leaf or stem extract. However, fruit extracts were found to increase 3H-thymidine incorporation in replicating beta TC-tet cells by 2.8-fold. Lipid accumulation in differentiating 3T3-L1 cells was accelerated by root, stem, and leaf extracts by as much as 6.5-fold by the end of a 6-day period. Stem, leaf, and fruit extracts reduced apoptosis by 20-33% in PC12 cells exposed to elevated glucose for 96 h. These results demonstrate that V. angustifolium contains active principles with insulin-like and glitazone-like properties, while conferring protection against glucose toxicity. Enhancement of proliferation in beta cells may represent another potential anti-diabetic property. Extracts of the Canadian blueberry thus show promise for use as a complementary anti-diabetic therapy.

Phytomedicine. 2006 Nov;13(9-10):612-23

Fermented Canadian lowbush blueberry juice stimulates glucose uptake and AMP-activated protein kinase in insulin-sensitive cultured muscle cells and adipocytes.

Extracts of the Canadian lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) have recently been demonstrated to possess significant antidiabetic potential, in accordance with the traditional use of this plant as an antidiabetic natural health product. Fermentation of blueberry juice with the Serratia vaccinii bacterium is known to modify the phenolic content and increase antioxidant activity. The present study evaluated the effects of fermented blueberry juice on glucose uptake, adipogenesis, and the signaling pathways that regulate glucose transport in muscle cells and adipocytes. A 6-hour treatment with fermented juice potentiated glucose uptake by 48% in C2C12 myotubes and by 142% in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, in the presence or absence of insulin, whereas nonfermented juice had no effect on transport. Fermented juice dramatically inhibited triglyceride content during adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells. Chlorogenic acid and gallic acid, both major phenolic components of fermented juice, had no effect on glucose uptake. Western blot analysis of the insulin-independent AMP-activated protein kinase revealed increased phosphorylation resulting from a 6-hour treatment. This activation or the increase in glucose uptake could not be explained by increased cytosolic calcium. Fermentation with S. vaccinii is concluded to confer antidiabetic activities to blueberry juice. Although the active principles and their mechanisms of action remain to be identified, transformed blueberry juice may nevertheless represent a novel complementary therapy and a source of novel therapeutic agents against diabetes mellitus.

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Sep;85(9):956-65

Antiobesity and antidiabetic effects of biotransformed blueberry juice in KKA(y) mice.

AIM: Biotransformation of blueberry juice by the Serratia vaccinii bacterium gave rise to adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and glucose uptake in muscle cells and adipocytes, but inhibited adipogenesis. This study investigated the antiobesity and antidiabetic potential of biotransformed blueberry juice (BJ) in KKA(y) mice, rodent model of leptin resistance.METHODS: BJ was incorporated in drinking water of KKA(y) mice. Parameters of body weight, food intake, plasma glucose, insulin, leptin, and adiponectin were measured. Before and after therapy, animals were subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test. At the end of treatment, liver, muscle, kidney, epididymal fat pad, abdominal fat pad, and dorsal fat pad were collected and weighed. RESULTS: Incorporating BJ in drinking water protected young KKA(y) mice from hyperphagia and significantly reduced their weight gain. Moreover, BJ protected young KKA(y) mice against the development of glucose intolerance and diabetes mellitus. Chronic BJ administration in obese and diabetic KKA(y) mice reduced food intake and body weight. This effect could not fully explain the associated antidiabetic effect because BJ-treated mice still showed lower blood glucose level when compared with pair-fed controls. The adipokines pathway also seems to be involved because BJ significantly increased adiponectin levels in obese mice. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that BJ decreases hyperglycemia in diabetic mice, at least in part by reversing adiponectin levels. BJ also protects young pre-diabetic mice from developing obesity and diabetes. Thus, BJ may represent a novel complementary therapy and a source of novel therapeutic agents against diabetes mellitus.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Oct;33(10):1166-73

Purified blueberry anthocyanins and blueberry juice alter development of obesity in mice fed an obesogenic high-fat diet.

Male C57BL/6J mice (25 days of age) were fed either a low-fat diet (10% kcal from fat) (LF) or a high-fat diet (45% kcal from fat) (HF45) for a period of 72 days. Blueberry juice or purified blueberry anthocyanins (0.2 or 1.0 mg/mL) in the drinking water were included in LF or HF45 treatments. Sucrose was added to the drinking water of one treatment to test if the sugars in blueberry juice would affect development of obesity. Total body weights (g) and body fat (%) were higher and body lean tissue (%) was lower in the HF45 fed mice compared to the LF fed mice after 72 days, but in mice fed HF45 diet plus blueberry juice or blueberry anthocyanins (0.2 mg/mL), body fat (%) was not different from those mice fed the LF diet. Anthocyanins (ACNs) decreased retroperitoneal and epididymal adipose tissue weights. Fasting serum glucose concentrations were higher in mice fed the HF45 diet. However, it was reduced to LF levels in mice fed the HF45 diet plus 0.2 mg of ACNs/mL in the drinking water, but not with blueberry juice. Beta cell function (HOMA-BCF) score was lowered with HF45 feeding but returned to normal levels in mice fed the HF45 diet plus purified ACNs (0.2 mg/mL). Serum leptin was elevated in mice fed HF45 diet, and feeding either blueberry juice or purified ACNs (0.2 mg/mL) decreased serum leptin levels relative to HF45 control. Sucrose in drinking water, when consumption was restricted to the volume of juice consumed, produced lower serum leptin and insulin levels, leptin/fat, and retroperitoneal and total fat (% BW). Blueberry juice was not as effective as the low dose of anthocyanins in the drinking water in preventing obesity. Additional studies are needed to determine factors responsible for the differing responses of blueberry juice and whole blueberry in preventing the development of obesity.

J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3970-6

Purified berry anthocyanins but not whole berries normalize lipid parameters in mice fed an obesogenic high fat diet.

Male C57BL/6 mice received diets with either 10% of kcal from fat, or a high fat diet [45% (HF45) or 60% (HF60) kcal from fat]. Diets were prepared with or without freeze-dried powders (10%) from whole blueberries (BB), strawberries (SB), Concord grape or black raspberry. In the 2nd study, purified anthocyanins (ACNs) from SB or BB were added to the drinking water of the treatments fed the HF60 diet. In Study 1, serum triglycerides were increased by feeding the HF45 diet but were elevated further when black raspberry or BB was included in the HF45 diet. Liver total lipids and triglycerides were increased in mice fed HF45 diet and inclusion of any of the berry powders in the HF45 diet did not alter concentrations compared to HF45 controls. In the 2nd study, mice fed the HF60 diet plus purified ACNs from BB in the water had lower body weight gains and body fat than the HF60 fed. Serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels were elevated with the HF60 diet and decreased to control levels when ACNs from either SB or BB were included in the drinking water. Serum leptin levels were consistently decreased to control low fat levels in those ACN treatments in which measures of body fat were decreased. Administering purified ACNs from BB and strawberry via drinking water prevented the development of dyslipidemia and obesity in mice, but feeding diets containing whole berries or purple corn (PC) ACNs did not alter the development of obesity.

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Nov;53(11):1406-18

Blueberries decrease cardiovascular risk factors in obese men and women with metabolic syndrome.

Among all fruits, berries have shown substantial cardio-protective benefits due to their high polyphenol content. However, investigation of their efficacy in improving features of metabolic syndrome and related cardiovascular risk factors in obesity is limited. We examined the effects of blueberry supplementation on features of metabolic syndrome, lipid peroxidation, and inflammation in obese men and women. Forty-eight participants with metabolic syndrome [4 males and 44 females; BMI: 37.8 +/- 2.3 kg/m(2); age: 50.0 +/- 3.0 y (mean +/- SE)] consumed freeze-dried blueberry beverage (50 g freeze-dried blueberries, approximately 350 g fresh blueberries) or equivalent amounts of fluids (controls, 960 mL water) daily for 8 wk in a randomized controlled trial. Anthropometric and blood pressure measurements, assessment of dietary intakes, and fasting blood draws were conducted at screening and at wk 4 and 8 of the study. The decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressures were greater in the blueberry-supplemented group (- 6 and - 4%, respectively) than in controls (- 1.5 and - 1.2%) (P lt 0.05), whereas the serum glucose concentration and lipid profiles were not affected. The decreases in plasma oxidized LDL and serum malondialdehyde and hydroxynonenal concentrations were greater in the blueberry group (- 28 and - 17%, respectively) than in the control group (- 9 and - 9%) (P lt 0.01). Our study shows blueberries may improve selected features of metabolic syndrome and related cardiovascular risk factors at dietary achievable doses.

J Nutr. 2010 Sep;140(9):1582-7

Anthocyanins extracted from Chinese blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum L.) and its anticancer effects on DLD-1 and COLO205 cells.

BACKGROUND: Vaccinium uliginosum L. is a type of blueberry found in the Chinese Changbai Mountains. We extracted Vaccinium uliginosum Anthocyanins (A(V.uli)) to investigate its bioactivity on suppressing cancer cells. METHODS: A(V.uli) was extracted under different conditions of temperature (10°C - 35°C), pH 1.0 - 3.0, and diatomaceous earth (1.0 g - 3.0 g), followed by a HPLC analysis for the determination of the ingredients. Its anticancer bioactivities on human colon and colorectal cancer cells (DLD-1 and COLO205) were compared with those on Lonicera caerulea Anthocyanins (A(L.cae)) and Vaccinium myrtillus Anthocyanins (A(V.myr)), using cell viability assays, DNA electrophoresis and nuclear morphology assays.RESULTS: The optimum process of A(V.uli) extraction involved conditions of temperature 20°C, pH 2.0, and diatomaceous earth 1.0 g/50 g of fruit weight. A(V.uli) contained 5 main components: delphinidin (40.70 ± 1.72)%, cyanidin (3.40 ± 0.68)%, petunidin (17.70 ± 0.54)%, peonidin (2.90 ± 0.63)% and malvidin (35.50 ± 1.11)%. The malvidin percentage was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than it in A(V.myr). A(V.uli) complied with a dose-dependent repression of cancer cell proliferation with an IC(50) (50% inhibitory concentration) value of 50 µg/ml, and showed greater anticancer efficiency than A(L.cae) and A(V.myr) under the same cell treatment conditions. These observations were further supported by the results of nuclear assays. CONCLUSIONS: The extraction protocol and conditions we used were effective for anthocyanin extraction. A(V.uli) could be a feasible practical research tool and a promising therapeutic source to suppress human colon or colorectal cancers.

Chin Med J (Engl). 2010 Oct;123(19):2714-9

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