Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Sciences (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Advisor 1

Xiaoqing Tang

Committee Member 1

Qinghui Chen

Committee Member 2

Tarun Dam


“We are what we eat.” Imbalanced diet is a major reason for obesity and consequently type-2 diabetes. A healthy and attractive diet is key to the control and prevention of obesity and type-2 diabetes. Among many fruit products, blueberry is rich in bioactive substances and possesses powerful antioxidant potential, which can protect against oxidant-induced and inflammatory cell damage and cytotoxicity. Blueberry has been found to improve insulin sensitivity in muscle and adipose, and thus reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, whether blueberry affects β-cell function and growth were not fully evaluated.

To study the effect of the whole blueberry on beta cell function, a modified high-fat diet supplemented with 4% (wt:wt) freeze-dried whole blueberry powder (HFD+B) was applied to the C57BL/6 male mice. Compared to the mice fed with high-fat diet (HFD), the addition of blueberry had no significant change in the body weight and glucose level. Interestingly, after 8 weeks feeding, the plasma insulin level was decreased significantly in mice fed with HFD+B compared to mice fed with HFD. In addition, mice fed with HFD+B had significantly increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Moreover, the blueberry-supplemented diet prevents HFD-induced beta-cell expansion and preserves the islet structure. Taken together, our results indicated that blueberry-supplemented diet could significantly protect β-cell, restore HFD-induced impaired glucose homeostasis and attenuate the development of obesity, which will provide new insights into the effects of blueberry on beta-cell function and expand our understanding the importance of blueberry in treating and preventing obesity and diabetes.

Role of Blueberry in Pancreatic Beta cell.pdf (1565 kB)
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