Blueberry intervention improves metabolic syndrome risk factors: systematic review and meta-analysis

Marina Fernandes Carvalho, Ana Beatriz Araújo Lucca, Vítor Rodrigues Ribeiro E Silva, Leandro Roberto de Macedo, Maísa Silva
Nutr Res. 2021 Jul;91:67-80.

Recent studies have found that blueberry supplementation can improve parameters related to metabolic syndrome (MetS); however, there is no definitive consensus. Analysis of several randomized controlled trials can demonstrate whether a reduced effect of MetS risk factors is more pronounced in individuals who received supplementation with blueberry than in individuals who did not receive this supplementation. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to investigate the effect of blueberry intervention on MetS risk factors, including blood pressure, anthropometric measurements, and glycemic and lipid profiles. PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and SciELO were systematically searched to identify relevant studies published before July 2020. To compare the effects of blueberry supplements (powder, extract, fruit, juice, or frozen) with placebo, the mean differences with 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were pooled based on the random-effects model. We classified the quality of evidence according to the GRADE approach. In total, 18 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included in this systematic review, and 12 studies were selected for meta-analysis. Based on the Cochrane Collaboration risk-of-bias tool, all studies were of good quality. These trials differed with regards to blueberry dosage and forms, recruited subjects, and trial duration. Meta-analyses of the data showed that blueberry intervention had a significant effect on lipid levels, decreasing total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. We found no significant differences in the glycemic status markers and anthropometric measurements. Blueberry supplementation significantly decreased diastolic blood pressure. In conclusion, the meta-analysis showed that blueberry may be efficacious in the treatment of MetS, due to its beneficial effects on lipid and blood pressure markers.

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