Whole berries versus berry anthocyanins: Interactions with dietary fat levels in the C57BL/6J mouse model of obesity

Ronald L. Prior, Xianli Wu, Liwei Gu, Tiffany J. Hager, Aaron Hager, Luke R. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Male C57BL/6J mice received diets with either 10% of calories from fat (LF) or a high-fat diet [45% (HF45) or 60% (HF60) calories from fat] for 92 days (expt 1) or 70 days (expt 2). These were given with or without freeze-dried powders from whole blueberries (BB) or strawberries (SB) (expt 1) or purified anthocyanin extracts from BB or SB (expt 2). Body composition was determined utilizing Echo MRI. Berries added to the LF diet did not alter weight gain, final body weights, body fat, or protein (percent body weight) or diet (grams) or energy (kilocalories) intake. However, in both HF45- and HF60-fed mice, weight gain, final weights, body fat (percent), and epididymal fat weights increased and body protein decreased (p < 0.01) compared to LF mice. In mice fed HF45 diet plus BB, body weight gains, body fat (percent of BW), and epididymal fat weights were significantly greater than those in the HF45-fed controls, whereas weights of mice fed SB HF were similar to those of HF controls. SB or BB feeding did not alter glucose tolerance, although glucose tolerance decreased with age and in HF45 versus LF mice. Baseline plasma glucose was lower in SB- versus HF45-fed mice. After 8 weeks, mice fed the HF60 diet plus purified anthocyanins from BB in the drinking water had lower body weight gains and body fat than the HF60-fed controls. Anthocyanins fed as the whole blueberry did not prevent and may have actually increased obesity. However, feeding purified anthocyanins from blueberries or strawberries reduced obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-653
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 13 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthocyanin
  • Blueberry
  • Body composition
  • Cyanidin
  • Glucose tolerance
  • Obesity
  • Pelargonidin
  • Strawberry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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