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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2015 Jun;70(2):170-5. doi: 10.1007/s11130-015-0474-9.

Supplementing diet with blackberry extract causes a catabolic response with increments in insulin sensitivity in rats.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidad San Pablo CEU, Ctra. Boadilla del Monte km 5.3, 28668, Madrid, Spain.


Blackberry (Rubus sp.) fruit has a high content of anthocyanins, but its health benefits have not been sufficiently explored in healthy individuals. Thus, the aim of the study was to determine the effects of blackberry extract on lipid and glucose variables in female and male rats. Sprague Dawley rats were given a standard pellet (SD) or cafeteria (CD) diet supplemented (SD+R and CD+R) or not with Rubus extract for 80 days. Female rats given SD+R had lower body and liver weights than SD females; both sexes given SD+R showed lower plasma glucose and insulin, higher plasma NEFA, glycerol and 3-hydroxybutyrate, and higher liver concentration of triacylglycerols than SD rats. The homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA) was lower in SD+R rats than in SD rats, but higher in CD rats. No effects of Rubus extract were observed in CD rats. In conclusion, Rubus extract, in rats given SD, decreased glycemia and increased insulin sensitivity. It also increased lipid breakdown in adipose tissue. The effects were greater in females than in males. No effect was seen in rats given CD, probably as a result of their high insulin resistance.

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