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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Mar;54(3):353-63. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200900094.

Blueberry fruit polyphenolics suppress oxidative stress-induced skeletal muscle cell damage in vitro.

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Functional Food and Health Group, New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd., Hamilton, New Zealand.


Skeletal muscle damage can result from disease and unaccustomed or excessive exercise. Muscle dysfunction occurs via an increased level of reactive oxygen species and hence there is potential in antioxidants as amelioration strategies. We explored the putative benefit of fruit polyphenolic extracts in reducing the susceptibility of skeletal muscle cells to oxidative stress. Muscle myotubes were simultaneously challenged with fruit extracts (1-50 microg/mL) and calcium ionophore (A23187), hydrogen peroxide, or 2,4-dinitrophenol and damage monitored by release of cytosolic enzymes. A blueberry fruit extract displayed a potent and significant dose-dependent protective capacity. Evaluation of the protective capacity of anthocyanin sub-extracts of blueberry fruit and pure individual glycosides, with identification of extract polyphenolic components using MS, suggested that malvidin galactoside and/or glucoside were the active compounds. These in vitro data support the concept that blueberry fruits or derived foods rich in malvidin glycosides may be beneficial in alleviating muscle damage caused by oxidative stress. More research on the benefits of blueberry fruit consumption in human intervention studies is warranted.

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