a fruit common in Scandinavian cuisine, may be able to help prevent
weight gain and high sugar and cholesterol levels, according to Swedish
In the study, which was conducted by researchers at Lund University using
mice with a tendency to store
fat as a model for overweight
humans, the animals were fed a high-fat
diet and different types of berries during three months.
"Lingonberries were the best berry in the manner that they limited the
weight gain of the high-fat fed mice," Lund University diabetes researcher
Karin Berger told AFP.
The high-fat fed animals given lingonberries did not put on more weight than
a group that had eaten a low-fat diet in the same period, and their blood sugar
levels were similar.
Also, their cholesterol
levels were lower than those of the mice who had a high-fat diet without
any berry supplement.
Acai berry has opposite effect
The other fruits used in the study, which was published this month in the Journal
of Nutrition and Metabolism, were
bilberries, raspberries, crowberries, blackberries, prunes and acai berries.
The researchers were surprised to find that the Brazilian acai
berry, which has been marketed as a super berry with weight-loss properties,
had the opposite effect on the mice.
They led to "weight gain and higher levels of fat in the liver",
the researchers explained in a statement, where they also said the
lingonberries' results could be due to their content of polyphenol, an
The team plans to develop the experiment on humans, but does not have a
starting date for the project.
The researchers said that up to 20% of the mice's diet consisted of lingonberries.
"It isn't realistic for humans to eat such a high proportion,"
Berger said in the statement.
"However, the goal is not to produce such dramatic effects as in the
'high-fat' mice, but rather to prevent obesity and diabetes by supplementing a
more normal diet with berries."