"Blueberries reduce the development of systemic inflammation and prevent the progression of chronic hypertension, thus supporting their potential role in alleviating the adverse health effects associated with developing obesity," said the researchers from University of Eastern Finland.

The beneficial health effects of blueberries are thought to be explained by a component called polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, the levels of which are significantly higher in blueberries than in commercially cultivated blueberries.

The study focused on the health effects of blueberries on mice that were fed high-fat diet for a period of three months.

Some of the mice were fed either five percent or 10 percent of freeze-dried blueberries in the diet. Blueberries diminished the pro inflammatory effects of the high-fat diet, indicated by an altered cytokine protein profile and a reduced relative prevalence of inflammation supporting T-cells.

blueberries also prevented elevated blood pressure caused by the high-fat diet, the findings showed.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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