May 28, 2022

New review demonstrates the benefits of blueberry supplementation in patients with metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are a significant health care problem in the United States. Type 2 diabetes affects more than 300 million people.

Insulin resistance is preventable and reversible through lifestyle changes, proper nutrition, supplements, exercise and stress management. Weight loss and exercise are the best treatments for restoring the body’s ability to respond to insulin.

According to a new review published two weeks ago in Food and Function, researchers investigated the effect of blueberry supplementation on different biomarkers in patients with metabolic syndrome. Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, which contain powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

This review consisted of 25 studies between published between 2007 and 2021. These studies ranged from 3 weeks to 24 weeks in length with a dosage of 13 grams to 300 grams as well as two using extracts. The results of review demonstrated a significant improvement in blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and insulin levels. Anthocyanins found in blueberries have a role in regulating key enzymes involved in cholesterol metabolism. All but three studies concluded that blueberry consumption positively impacted insulin resistance.

In addition, anthocyanins found in blueberries have a role in regulating key enzymes involved in cholesterol metabolism. Blueberry supplementation also showed a significant effect on body weight reduction but not waist circumference or body mass index (BMI).

A diet rich in blueberries decreases the production of free radicals due to their antioxidant capacity. This review demonstrates that blueberry supplementation should be considered in patients with metabolic syndrome.

Inositol is another nutrient that should also be considered for patients with diabetes.

Inositol acts as second messenger which regulates several hormones such as thyroid stimulating hormone and insulin.

Studies have shown that an inositol deficiency is common in patients with insulin resistance. There appears to be a reduced ability to process, metabolize, and effectively use inositol from foods which is a distinctive characteristic feature of insulin resistance. As a result, the nutritional requirements of these patients may not be met by a simple change in the diet and that inositol should be viewed as a conditionally essential nutrient in these individuals.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS Source: Azari H, Morovati A, et al. Beneficial effects of blueberry supplementation on the components of metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Food Funct. 2022 Apr 21. doi: 10.1039/d1fo03715c