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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Dec 24;56(24):11700-6. doi: 10.1021/jf802405y.

Effects of blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) on DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, and phase II enzyme activities in rats.

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Department of Foods and Nutrition, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-3622, USA.


Blueberry extracts have high antioxidant potential and increase phase II enzyme activities in vitro. This study tested the hypothesis that blueberries would reduce DNA damage and lipid peroxidation and increase phase II enzyme activities in vivo. Young, healthy male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 8 per group) were fed control AIN-93 diets or AIN-93 diets supplemented with blueberries or blueberry extracts for 3 weeks. Diets were supplemented with 10% freeze-dried whole blueberries, blueberry polyphenol extract and sugars to match the 10% blueberry diet, or 1 and 0.2% blueberry flavonoids, which were primarily anthocyanins. Liver and colon mucosa glutathione-S-transferase (GST), quinone reductase, and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase activities in colon mucosa and liver were not significantly increased by freeze-dried whole blueberries or blueberry fractions. Liver GST activity, however, was approximately 25% higher than controls for the freeze-dried whole blueberry, blueberry polyphenol, and 1% flavonoid groups. DNA damage was significantly lower than control only in the liver of animals fed the 1% flavonoid diet. The level of urinary F(2)-isoprostanes, a measure of lipid peroxidation, was unaffected. In summary, in healthy rats, short-term supplementation with freeze-dried whole blueberries, blueberry polyphenols, or blueberry flavonoids did not significantly increase phase II enzyme activities. However, supplementation with 1% blueberry flavonoids did decrease oxidative DNA damage in the liver.

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