How do blackberries impact gut health?
A new scientific study has found out how blackberries aid gut health.
A recent study published in the Food Chemistry Journal examined the benefits of blackberries, finding that they can ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The study’s researchers simulated gastrointestinal digestion to study the stability and effects of the blackberry compounds, according to a previously described method.1 This was done to see how easily phenolics, which are natural plant-based compounds that give blackberries their distinctive colour, are absorbed and what impact the fruit has on human health.
They found absorption of phenolics to be high, with 43 percent of the plant-based compound remaining in the colon. Phenolics enable the gut flora to flourish, with desirable bacteria (Bacteroidetes) increasing and less desirable bacteria (Firmicutes) decreasing.
This scientific research highlights the potential digestive benefits of blackberries, which could aid gut health and include easing the symptoms of IBS. NHS data shows that one third of British people suffer from IBS and one in 10 seek medical advice for the condition.
You may also like:
“These findings are important and of great interest given the growing interest around gut health,” said Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist, about the research. “Clearly, large-scale clinical human trials are needed to build on these findings. In the meantime, including blackberries within your daily diet is an easy way to obtain useful amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and dietary fibre, along with these potentially desirable phenolics.”
The appetite for blackberries is increasing in the UK with an estimated 25.5 million punnets sold last year, an eight percent uplift on 2020, according to Kantar data obtained by British Summer Fruits.
Dr Derbyshire added that more research will be needed to see just how beneficial blackberries really are.
- Madureira AR, Amorim M, Gomes AM, et al. Protective effect of whey cheese matrix on probiotic strains exposed to simulated gastrointestinal conditions. Food Research International, 44 (1) (2011), pp. 465-470,