Science and Technology
publicado em 22/06/2011 às 03h00:00
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Blueberries help lab mice to produce strong bones

Studies suggest that polyphenols responsible for the color of blueberries can help in building strong bones

 
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Compounds found in blueberries may have a powerful effect on the formation of strong bones and healthy, the results of studies in mice hold true in humans.

Jin-Ran Chen is a professor in the department of pediatrics and specializes in research on how our diet during childhood and early adulthood affects growth and development of bones and the risk of developing osteoporosis or other bone degenerative diseases in later years.

Chen studies in mice young and fast growing suggest that polyphenols, compounds that give blueberries their blue color, purple and red, can assist in building strong bones. The work paved the way for further research can reveal whether that blueberries could be used in future treatments to boost the development of bone mass and help prevent osteoporosis.

The survey found that rats fed diets containing 10% freeze-dried blueberry powder had significantly more bone than those fed diets containing no dust.

When the researchers exposed lab cultures of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) to the blood (fluid) of the animals, they found that the fluid blood of rats fed blueberry was associated with an increase in the development of osteoblasts in bone cells mature and functional.

The fluid blood in the rats fed blueberry had elevated levels of phenolic acids derived from the polyphenols responsible for the coloration of the fruit. Research suggests that phenolic acids may have influenced the construction of bones in rats. Studies are needed to determine whether these benefits occur in humans, Chen said.

Chen's research also suggests that the phenolic acids stimulated the bone-building through a pathway that may involve, for example, a protein, beta-catenin (which takes the osteoblasts to become mature and functional) and two genes, TCF and LEF (responsible for promoting the synthesis of beta-catenin).

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