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University of East Anglia scientists launch study to test the health benefits of eating blueberries

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Scientists at the University of East Anglia have launched a new research study to investigate whether eating blueberries can improve heart health and reduce the risk of diabetes.

The university is looking for local men and postmenopausal women to take part in the major six month-long international study.

The study will test whether eating one or two portions of freeze-dried blueberries improves heart health and insulin action in people with metabolic syndrome – a condition characterised by a larger waistline, raised blood sugar, blood fats and blood pressure. Also involved are scientists from Harvard University in America and the University of Cambridge. They are looking to recruit 144 generally healthy volunteers aged 50-75 years, who are overweight, non-smokers and not currently taking blood pressure lowering medication or hormone replacement therapies.

Prof Aedin Cassidy, who leads the department of nutrition at the Norwich Medical School, said: “Growing evidence suggests that regularly eating berries may be good for your heart and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. We are excited to be embarking on a trial to test this further and this study will help us to confirm if long term intake of blueberries can contribute to better health in people with metabolic syndrome.”

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