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Blueberries Lower Cholesterol

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    Blueberries Lower Cholesterol

    Blueberries Lower Cholesterol As Effectively As Drugs
    August 24, 2004

    Researchers have found a compound in the blueberry that lowers cholesterol just as effectively as commercial drugs, with the added advantage of fewer side effects, according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    The compound, called pterostilbene, shows promise as a natural medicine to lower cholesterol in patients that don't respond well to conventional drugs, according to the researchers.

    The findings were presented Monday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

    For their findings, researchers exposed rat liver cell to four compounds found in blueberries. Of the four, Pterostilbene was the most effective compound for activating the cells' PPAR-alpha receptor, which is linked to lowering cholesterol and other lipids.

    Lead study author, Dr. Agnes M. Rimando said the compound may be "a potent weapon against obesity and heart disease."

    Pterostilbene, an antioxidant, is similar to resveratrol, which is found in grapes and red wine, also believed to lower cholesterol.

    The researchers found the blueberry compound was as effective in lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol as the commercial drug ciprofibrate. However, the researchers caution, studies will have to be conducted on humans, because no one knows how many blueberries a person needs to eat to have a positive effect at lowering cholesterol.
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