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Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct;98(4):941-51. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.060590. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Effects of sea buckthorn and bilberry on serum metabolites differ according to baseline metabolic profiles in overweight women: a randomized crossover trial.

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Departments of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry and Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; Aromtech Ltd, Tornio, Finland.



Berries are associated with health benefits. Little is known about the effect of baseline metabolome on the overall metabolic responses to berry intake.


We studied the effects of berries on serum metabolome.


Eighty overweight women completed this randomized crossover study. During the interventions of 30 d, subjects consumed dried sea buckthorn berries (SBs), sea buckthorn oil (SBo), sea buckthorn phenolics ethanol extract mixed with maltodextrin (SBe+MD) (1:1), or frozen bilberries. Metabolic profiles were quantified from serum samples by using (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.


All interventions induced a significant (P < 0.001-0.003) effect on the overall metabolic profiles. The effect was observed both in participants who had a metabolic profile that reflected higher cardiometabolic risk at baseline (group B: P = 0.001-0.008) and in participants who had a lower-risk profile (group A: P < 0.001-0.009). Although most of the changes in individual metabolites were not statistically significant after correction for multiplicity, clear trends were observed. SB-induced effects were mainly on serum triglycerides and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and its subclasses, which decreased in metabolic group B. SBo induced a decreasing trend in serum total, intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and subfractions of IDL and LDL in group B. During the SBe+MD treatment, VLDL fractions and serum triglycerides increased. Bilberries caused beneficial changes in serum lipids and lipoproteins in group B, whereas the opposite was true in group A.


Berry intake has overall metabolic effects, which depend on the cardiometabolic risk profile at baseline. This trial was registered at as NCT01860547.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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