Some Current Blueberry research

  • Blueberry as a potential radiosensitizer for the treatment of cervical cancer (1)

  • Antioxidative and epigenetic effects of blueberry (2)

  • Potential vascular benefits of blueberry anthocyanins and their metabolites (3)

  • Peripheral arterial function and blueberry consumption in smokers and nonsmokers (4)

  • Investigating natural hair dyes using anthocyanin pigments from blueberries (5)

  • Developing technology for anthocyanin extraction for drug and cosmetics applications (6)

  • Ocular function and polyphenol permeability across the blood-retina-barrier (7)

  • Prevention of infrared-A induced wrinkle formation using a blueberry derived antioxidant matrix (8)

Scientific investigations on these topics and others continue. While some studies are preliminary, the research is encouraging.  Check out the citations below and visit the blueberry research database.  Recently over 300 ciations were added.

1.   Davidson KT, Zhu Z, Bai Q, Xiao H, Wakefield MR, Fang Y. (2017). Blueberry as a Potential Radiosensitizer for Treating Cervical Cancer. Pathol Oncol Res.

“Cervical cancer (CC) is a leading cause of death in women worldwide. Radiation therapy (RT) for CC is an effective alternative, but its toxicity remains challenging. Blueberry is amongst the most commonly consumed berries in the United States. We previously showed that resveratrol, a compound in red grapes, can be used as a radiosensitizer for prostate cancer. In this study, we found that the percentage of colonies, PCNA expression level and the OD value of cells from the CC cell line SiHa were all decreased in RT/Blueberry Extract (BE) group when compared to those in the RT alone group… The anti-proliferative effect of RT/BE on cancer cells correlated with downregulation of pro-proliferative molecules cyclin D and cyclin E.... Thus, BE sensitizes SiHa cells to RT by inhibition of proliferation and promotion of apoptosis, suggesting that blueberry might be used as a potential radiosensitizer to treat CC.”

2.   Kim M, Na H, Kasai H, Kawai K, Li YS, Yang M. (2017). Comparison of Blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) and Vitamin C via Antioxidative and Epigenetic Effects in Human. J Cancer Prev. 22(3):174-181.

 “Chemopreventive effects and the underlying mechanisms of blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) are not clearly understood in human. We hypothesized blueberry would work via antioxidative and epigenetic modulation, which is similar to vitamin C. We performed a pilot and non-inferiority study in healthy young women (n = 12), who consumed vitamin C (1 g/d) or 240 mL of blueberry juice (total polyphenols 300 mg and proanthocyanidin 76 mg/d) for 2 weeks.... Blueberry juice shows similar anti-oxidative or anti-premutagenic activity to vitamin C and the potential as a methylation inhibitor for the MTHFR and the DNMT1 in human.”

3.  Bharat D, Cavalcanti RRM, Petersen C, Begaye N, Cutler BR1, Costa MMA, Ramos RKLG, Ferreira MR, Li Y, Bharath LP, Toolson E, Sebahar P, Looper RE, Jalili T, Rajasekaran NS, Jia Z, Symons J, Pon Velayutham AB. (2017). Blueberry Metabolites Attenuate Lipotoxicity-Induced Endothelial Dysfunction. Mol Nutr Food Res.

“Lipotoxicity-induced endothelial dysfunction is an important vascular complication associated with diabetes. Clinical studies support the vascular benefits of blueberry anthocyanins, but the underlying mechanism is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that metabolites of blueberry anthocyanins attenuate lipotoxicity-induced endothelial dysfunction.... Of note, the damaging effects of palmitate were ameliorated in HAECs treated with blueberry metabolites but not parent anthocyanins. Further, important translational relevance of these results was provided by our observation that palmitate-induced endothelial dysfunction was lessened in arterial segments that incubated concurrently with blueberry metabolites. Our findings indicate that the vascular benefits of blueberry anthocyanins are mediated by their metabolites. Blueberries might complement existing therapies to improve vascular complications.“

4.  Del Bo' C, Deon V, Campolo J, Lanti C, Parolini M, Porrini M, Klimis-Zacas D, Riso P. (2017). A serving of blueberry (V. corymbosum) acutely improves peripheral arterial dysfunction in young smokers and non-smokers: two randomized, controlled, crossover pilot studies. Food Funct.

“Several studies have documented the important role of polyphenol-rich foods in the modulation of vascular remodelling and function. This study aimed to evaluate the capacity of a single portion of blueberry (V. corymbosum) to acutely improve peripheral arterial dysfunction in a group of young volunteers. Twenty-four healthy males (12 non-smokers and 12 smokers) were recruited for two different randomized, controlled, crossover pilot acute studies. In the first study, non-smokers were exposed to a control treatment (C; 300 mL of water with sugar) and a blueberry treatment (BB; 300 g of blueberry)....The intake of blueberry and control treatment before a cigarette did not counteract the increase in blood pressure and heart rate, while it significantly improved peripheral arterial function.... In conclusion, the intake of blueberry and control treatments acutely improved peripheral arterial dysfunction both in smoker and in non-smoker subjects. Further studies should be performed to confirm the results obtained and reveal the potential mechanisms of blueberry in the improvement of endothelial function.”

5.  Seo, E. S., & Park, C. H. (2017). Hair Dyeing and Colorfastness Using Extracts of Blueberry. Asian Journal of Beauty and Cosmetology, 15(3), 323-332.

“The purpose of this study is to examine the possibility of natural hair dyeing using anthocyanin pigments from blueberries. The hair dyeing and color change of blueberry extracts were measured at the maximum absorption wavelength of anthocyanin by varying dyeing temperature, dyeing time, and pH. Several mordants were used, and the mordanting effects and colorfastness were investigated in accordance with the mordanting method and mordant concentration....Extracts from blueberries may be useful to be used as a hair dye."

6.  Xu, Q., Zhou, Y., Wu, Y., Jia, Q., Gao, G., & Nie, F. (2016). Enzyme‐assisted solvent extraction for extraction of blueberry anthocyanins and separation using resin adsorption combined with extraction technologies. International Journal of Food Science & Technology, 51(12), 2567-2573. 

“Blueberry anthocyanins are the major active ingredients of blueberry with a variety of biological activities. The scale extraction and separation of blueberry anthocyanins could contribute to their application in drugs, cosmetics, food additives and so on. In this study, using combined technologies to high-efficient extraction and separation of blueberry anthocyanins was developed.”

7.   Liu, Y., Liu, G. M., Cao, M. J., Chen, Q., Sun, L., & Ji, B. (2017). Potential Retinal Benefits of Dietary Polyphenols Based on Their Permeability across the Blood–Retinal Barrier. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 65(15), 3179-3189.

“Whether all dietary polyphenols nourish the eyes via oral supplementation is controversial. Given that passage of dietary polyphenols across the blood–retina barrier (BRB) is the precondition for polyphenols to exhibit ocular benefits, the BRB permeability of polyphenols was assessed in this study. Being common dietary polyphenols in fruits and vegetables, nonanthocyanin flavonoids, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids were investigated.… Moreover, a new metabolite was discovered during penetration of anthocyanins into the BRB. However, hydrophilic phenolic acids exhibited better BRB permeability than hydrophobic ones. Data demonstrate that BRB permeability of polyphenols was determined based on structural characteristics, hydrophilicity, stability, and metabolic changes.”

8.   Grether-Beck, S., Krutmann, J., Wilkens, K., & D'Amato, K. (2017). Effect of a Blueberry-Derived Antioxidant Matrix on Infrared-A Induced Gene Expression in Human Dermal Fibroblasts. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology: JDD, 16(8), s125.

“There is compelling evidence that Infrared A (IRA) from natural sunlight contributes to photoaging of human skin by inducing the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression in human dermal fibroblasts.... In the present study, we therefore asked if treatment of primary human skin fibroblasts with a blueberry-derived antioxidant matrix (BerrimatrixTM), which is employed as an active ingredient in commercially available skin care products that are topically applied, can prevent IRA-induced MMP-1 expression in these cells. In this in vitro study, we have found that this antioxidant containing matrix is well tolerated by fibroblast over a broad concentration range and that it efficiently prevents IRA-induced MMP-1 mRNA expression. It may thus be speculated that topical application of this antioxidant containing matrix may be efficient in protecting human skin against IRA-induced wrinkle formation.”