UEA scientists are on the hunt for local blueberry fanatics in an attempt to discover whether they hold the potential for improving serious illnesses.
People with a condition known as Metabolic Syndrome (a mixture of diabetes, raised blood pressure and obesity according to the NHS) are being asked to take part in a test that will involve consuming a varying range of the berries every day for a six month period. The aim is to discover whether the differing amounts have an effect on the general health of the heart and how their insulin behaves and reacts.
Professor Aedin Cassidy from the Norwich Medical School is part of the team involving UEA and scientists from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University in the United States. The universities’ move to begin this research project is on the back of growing evidence suggesting increasing intake of certain berries has the specific effects the scientists are looking for in their test subjects. The results of the research project are likely to have a high level of impact, being described as a ‘major international study’.
The six month long project will look to recruit over 140 local residents who will be screened to discern whether they have Metabolic Syndrome. The participants will then be given a certain amount of freeze-dried blueberries, or a placebo powder for the duration, with restrictions and health checks for the participants to monitor the results.