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Blueberries are one of the most commonly loved fruits among children, and recent research from University of Arkansas suggests that this may be a serendipitous preference since snacking on these may help them build strong bones.
In a study, a team of scientists found that young rodents that grew up on food supplemented with freeze-dried blueberries had significantly more bone mass than their peers that were not given the fruit.
Blood serum in rats that were fed blueberry-enriched food was high in phenolic acids, which come from the antioxidant polyphenols in blueberries and give the fruits their rich color. The researchers said that this suggests that such compounds may contribute to strong bones, in addition to previously reported disease-preventing benefits.
Authors of the study noted that further research is necessary in order to determine whether blueberries have the same effect on humans.
Lead author Jin-Ran Chen specializes in research on how early childhood diet can prevent diseases like osteoporosis in old age.