Journal Articles

Blueberry Consumption Affects Serum Uric Acid Concentrations in Older Adults in a Sex-Specific Manner

December 08, 2016

Carol L. Cheatham, Itzel Vazquez-Vidal, Amanda Medlin and V. Saroja Voruganti (2016). Blueberry Consumption Affects Serum Uric Acid Concentrations in Older Adults in a Sex-Specific Manner. Antioxidants 2016, 5(4), 43; doi:10.3390/antiox5040043.

Author Affiliations

1. Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2. Nutrition Research Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 500 Laureate Way, Rm 1101, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
3. University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
4. Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA

Abstract

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and may protect against disease. Uric acid accounts for about 50% of the antioxidant properties in humans. Elevated levels of serum uric acid (SUA) or hyperuricemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim was to determine the effect of blueberries on SUA in older adults. Participants (n = 133, 65–80 years) experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were randomized in a double-blind 6-month clinical trial to either blueberry or placebo. A reference group with no MCI received no treatment. The mean (SD) SUA at baseline were 5.45 (0.9), 6.4 (1.3) and 5.8 (1.4) mg/dL in reference, placebo, and treatment groups, respectively.

Baseline SUA was different in men and women (6.25 (1.1) vs. 5.35 (1.1), p = 0.001). During the first three months, SUA decreased in the blueberry group and was significantly different from the placebo group in both men and women (p < 0.0003). Sex-specific differences became apparent after 3 months, when only men showed an increase in SUA in the blueberry group and not in the placebo (p = 0.0006) between 3 and 6 months. At 6 months SUA had rebounded in both men and women and returned to baseline levels.

Baseline SUA was correlated with CVD risk factors, waist circumference and triglycerides (p < 0.05), but differed by sex. Overall, 6 m SUA changes were negatively associated with triglycerides in men, but not in women. Group-wise association between 6 m SUA changes and CVD risk factors showed associations with diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in women of the Blueberry group but not in men or any sex in the placebo group. In summary, blueberries may affect SUA and its relationship with CVD risk in a sex-specific manner.

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