British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Effect of blueberry feeding on plasma lipids in pigs

W. Kalta1 c1, Kim Footea2, S. A. E. Fillmorea1, Martha Lyona3, T. A. Van Lunena4 and K. B. McRaea1

a1 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Center, 32 Main Street, Kentville, Nova Scotia B4N 1J5, Canada

a2 Charlottetown Veterinary Clinic, 5 Kirkwood Drive, Charlottetown, PE C1A 2T4, Canada

a3 Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary Laboratory Services, Room B3-724, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, AB T3B 6A8, Canada

a4 Canadian Forestry Service – Atlantic Forestry Centre, PO Box 960, Corner Brook, NF A2H 6H3, Canada


Two feeding trials were conducted with pigs to determine the effects of blueberry supplementation on plasma lipid levels and other indices of cardiovascular benefit. In the first trial, where basal diets contained a high level of plant-based components (70 % soya, oats and barley), supplementation with 1, 2 and 4 % blueberries resulted in a decrease in total, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol. The greatest reduction was observed in the 2 % blueberry-fed pigs, where total, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol were reduced 11·7, 15·1 and 8·3 %, respectively. In the second trial where basal diets contained only 20 % (w/w) of soya, oats and barley, the lipid-modulating effect of blueberries was attenuated, so that supplementation with 1·5 % blueberries reduced total cholesterol by 8 %, which occurred only in pigs whose diets had been supplemented with cholesterol (0·08 %), NaCl (0·11 %) and fructose (9 %). In the first feeding trial, blueberry supplementation had no effect on blood platelet activity. Blueberry supplementation also had no effect on the susceptibility of leucocyte DNA to oxidation in the first trial and no effect on the susceptibility of LDL to oxidation in the second trial. Results of these two feeding trials are discussed in relation to the effects of basal diet composition on lipid-modulating effects of blueberries.

(Received April 16 2007)

(Revised October 04 2007)

(Accepted October 26 2007)

(Online publication December 17 2007)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr W. Kalt, fax +1 902 679 2311, email


Abbreviations: BB, blueberries; CSF, cholesterol, salt and fructose; T1, trial 1; T2, trial 2