During this time of year, we love to pick blueberries. We’re fortunate to have a blueberry farm about five minutes from our house. Each July, we try to pick bucketfuls of blueberries. It’s a great time for the family — and a very healthy venture for our bones.
You probably already know that blueberries pack a punch for healthy eyes and your general health. But what do they have to do with healthy bones? Well, a new study says plenty.
Back in 2010, the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published a study showing that blueberries improved the bone development of lab rats. Now, this same team has found the same exciting effects on humans.
In the first study, the researchers fed the rats freeze-dried blueberry powder. The blueberries made up 10% of their diet. The rats showed significantly more bone mass than rats that did not eat the powder.
The researchers took blood samples from the rats to determine what was causing the bone to develop better. They found high levels of phenolic acids. This is an antioxidant compound that helps improve bone development.
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The researchers then took the blood serum from the rats that ate blueberries and tested their impact on lab cultures of osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are the cells that help form bone. The blood serum caused the osteoblasts to form into mature, fully functional bone cells. And they did it much faster than they would without the blood serum.
So if you’re looking for a great way to build your bones, find and eat all the blueberries you can. We freeze bags of them every summer and eat them throughout the year. To me, this is the best tasting health news there is for your bones. If you can’t freeze blueberries for the winter, there are plenty of great supplements on the market you can take.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.