When deciding which fruit to feature in your breakfast bowl, research points toward red raspberries. Findings from various animal studies suggest that red raspberries, which are an excellent source of vitamin C and high in fiber, are associated with a decreased risk of several health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes-related complications, and bone inflammation. Here is a quick look at some of the red raspberry-related research presented at the 2016 Experimental Biology conference and published in the FASEB Journal:
- Bone backup. Red raspberry polyphenols (antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables) were found to prevent the release of inflammatory chemicals and to inhibit the expansion of the number of bone cells that cause bone breakdown in cultured cell lines from mice. This indicates these polyphenols might have the potential to help prevent bone loss.
- Diabetes defense. Diabetic, obese rats were divided into two groups and fed either freeze-dried red raspberries or a placebo for eight weeks. The red raspberry group, but not the placebo group, was protected against a rare diabetes complication called cachexia—appetite and weight loss, fatigue, and muscle atrophy—that is usually associated with extreme nerve pain. They also had lower fasting blood sugar than the placebo group, although this difference was not statistically significant.
- Cardiovascular care. Researchers fed obesity-prone rats a high-fat diet in addition to either a freeze-dried red raspberry powder or a sugar placebo for eight weeks. At the end of the study, the two groups did not show differences between body weight gain, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, or systolic blood pressure; however, the red raspberry group had lower fasting triglycerides and blood sugar levels, as well as lower heart rates, than the placebo group. The red raspberry group also experienced heart enlargement and wall thickening, which may indicate a reduced heart failure risk.