(NaturalNews) Eating bilberries will reduce intestinal inflammation and alleviate the effects of colitis. These are the results of the experiments conducted by a team of scientists led by Professor Gerhard Rogler from University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland.
Bilberries, or huckleberries, are tiny fruits related to American blueberries and cranberries, but native to Northern Europe. They are known to have positive effects on treating acute and chronic diarrhea. Bilberries have also been reported to help patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). With the current study, scientists wanted to find further data to confirm these reported benefits.
“Ingestion of dried bilberries had positive effects on various parameters, especially in acute DSS-colitis,” announced the group of researchers.
Tests show the power of bilberries in stopping gut inflammation
A group of laboratory mice were given a specific chemical substance mixed with water in order to induce colon inflammation and eventually colitis. The compound, dextrane sodium sulphate (DSS), is known to cause the affliction after repeated administration. It also produces inflammation of the gut similar to that found in patients suffering from IBD. The test subjects were later divided into three groups, each of them having been given different supplements alongside their usual meals. The first group was given meals containing 20% dried bilberries. The second and third groups were fed meals containing 10% and 1% anthocyanins obtained from bilberries. Anthocyanins are a group of flavonoids found in plant tissue that are responsible for the red, blue or purple pigmentation of fruits and flowers. This water soluble substance can be found in high concentrations in bilberries and has been associated with various beneficial effects on human health.