Scientists prepare for study on cherries

After getting promising results from experiments with rats, University of Michigan scientists say they're preparing for a clinical study of whether eating tart cherries can help people reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Scientists prepare for study on cherries
After getting promising results from experiments with rats, University of Michigan scientists say they're preparing for a clinical study of whether eating tart cherries can help people reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes.

"There is still a long way to go before we can advocate any course of action for humans," said Dr. Steven Bolling, a cardiac surgeon and director of the university's Cardioprotection Research Laboratory. "Still, the growing body of knowledge is encouraging."

Researchers discussed their findings Monday at the Experimental Biology 2007 meeting in Washington, D.C.

During the experiments, lab rats were fed a diet including 1 percent by weight powdered tart cherries. After 90 days, those rates had lower cholesterol and blood sugar than rats that didn't get cherries.

Rats fed the cherries also had less fat stored in the liver, lower levels of a type of cell damage called oxidative stress and increased production of a molecule that helps the body handle fat and sugar, the researchers said.

The measures on which the two groups of animals differed are linked to risk factors for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. The study suggests the factors are affected by high concentrations of antioxidant compounds found in tart cherries, the scientists said.

A Michigan team soon will begin a clinical trial to determine whether a diet rich in cherries would have the same effect on people. Additional research is planned on animals prone to obesity and diabetes.

Michigan is the nation's top producer of tart cherries. The Lansing-based Cherry Marketing Institute, an industry trade association, funded the research but had no influence over its design or findings, the university said.
Last Mod: 03 Mayıs 2007, 13:10
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