New research confirms wild blueberry antioxidant power

    - Cornell University scientists developed cellular antioxidant activity
    assay for antioxidant research -

    PORTLAND, MN, Nov. 21 /CNW/ - New research published in the current issue
of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (55 (22), 8896-8907, 2007)
shows that wild blueberries have the highest cellular antioxidant activity of
selected fruits tested. Lead scientist Rui Hai Liu, Ph.D., used the cellular
antioxidant activity (CAA) assay - a new assay developed by the Cornell
University Department of Food Science - to determine antioxidant activity of
antioxidants, foods, and dietary supplements. Wild blueberries performed
better in cells than cranberries, apples, red and green grapes.
    According to Dr. Liu, the CAA assay takes antioxidant measurement to a
new level moving beyond test tube assays to bioactivity inside cells. "We've
taken the next step toward understanding antioxidant activity by examining how
antioxidants react with cells. This new approach is more biologically relevant
as it accounts for uptake, metabolism, distribution and activity of
antioxidant compounds in cells versus solely looking at antioxidant value."
Dr. Liu's work builds upon current antioxidant research using the chemistry or
test tube assays, like Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). "ORAC is
still a valuable test. What we've done is advance the research to see how
these compounds react with cells. We believe this is a stronger measure of how
antioxidant compounds could potentially react in the body."
    According to USDA scientist and developer of the ORAC test, Ron Prior,
Ph.D., the CAA assay is an advancement. "The CAA assay provides information
regarding cellular levels of antioxidants which is important to our
understanding in this area of antioxidant research. How useful the assay will
be in predicting in vivo uptake and availability of dietary antioxidants
remains to be determined with further research."

    Wild blueberries: nature's antioxidant superfruit
    Wild Blueberry Association of North America's nutrition advisor, Susan
Davis, M.S., R.D. advises consumers to choose colorful, naturally
nutrient-dense foods like wild blueberries. "Wild blueberries are packed with
protective natural compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Eat at least 1/2 cup of wild blueberries every day as part of a well-balanced
diet. Eating antioxidant-rich foods is key to weight management, reducing
risks for chronic diseases and healthy aging." According to Davis,
antioxidants help protect cells against free radicals - unstable oxygen
molecules associated with cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and other effects
of aging. A serving of wild blueberries has more antioxidants than most other
fruits. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 52:4026-4037, 2004.)
    Davis noted that wild blueberries are now available in supermarket
freezer cases nationwide. Individually quick-frozen, wild blueberries are
frozen at the peak of freshness and are just as nutritious as fresh. She adds,
"It's easy to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into the family meal plan
when you have frozen on-hand," said Davis. "Just grab a half-cup of frozen
wild blueberries from the freezer, add them to cereal, make a smoothie or
enjoy them as is."
    Davis advises choosing brightly colored fruits and vegetables which are
loaded with health-promoting phytochemicals. Wild blueberry phytochemicals
known as anthocyanins give the fruit its deep blue colour and are at work in
the body helping fend off environmental assault from poor diet, lack of
exercise or other stressors.

    About WBANA
    The Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA) is an
international trade association of growers and processors of wild blueberries
from Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland
and Maine, dedicated to bringing the wild blueberry health story and unique
wild advantages to consumers and the trade worldwide. To learn more about wild
blueberries visit

For further information:

For further information: on the Wild Blueberry Association of North
America, visuals or an interview, please contact Susan Willemsen or Rebecca
Kennedy at The Siren Group Inc., Tel: (416) 926-8087, Fax: (416) 926-9712,

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