Beneficial effects of blueberries in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Xin, J, Feinstein DI, Heyna MJ, Lorens SA
J Agric Food Chem . 2012 Jun 13;60(23):5743-8.
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Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model of autoimmune disease that presents with pathological and clinical features similar to those of multiple sclerosis (MS) including inflammation and neurodegeneration. This study investigated whether blueberries, which possess immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties, could provide protection in EAE. Dietary supplementation with 1% whole, freeze-dried blueberries reduced disease incidence by >50% in a chronic EAE model (p < 0.01). When blueberry-fed mice with EAE were compared with control-fed mice with EAE, blueberry-fed mice had significantly lower motor disability scores (p = 0.03) as well as significantly greater myelin preservation in the lumbar spinal cord (p = 0.04). In a relapsing-remitting EAE model, blueberry-supplemented mice showed improved cumulative and final motor scores compared to control diet-fed mice (p = 0.01 and 0.03, respectively). These data demonstrate that blueberry supplementation is beneficial in multiple EAE models, suggesting that blueberries, which are easily administered orally and well-tolerated, may provide benefit to MS patients.

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