Six-week consumption of a wild blueberry powder drink increases bifidobacteria in the human gut

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Dec 28;59(24):12815-20. doi: 10.1021/jf2028686. Epub 2011 Nov 18.


Wild blueberries are a rich source of polyphenols and other compounds that are highly metabolized by the intestinal microbiota and may, at the same time, affect the intestinal environment itself. A repeated-measure, crossover dietary intervention on human volunteers was designed to study the effect of six week consumption of a wild blueberry ( Vaccinium angustifolium ) drink, versus a placebo drink, in modulating the intestinal microbiota. Relative to total eubacteria, Bifidobacterium spp. significantly increased following blueberry treatment (P ≤ 0.05), while Lactobacillus acidophilus increased after both treatments (P ≤ 0.05). No significant differences were observed for Bacteroides spp., Prevotella spp., Enterococcus spp., and Clostridium coccoides . Bifidobacteria, which have been largely proposed to be of benefit for the host, appeared to be selectively favored suggesting an important role for the polyphenols and fiber present in wild blueberries. Results obtained suggest that regular consumption of a wild blueberry drink can positively modulate the composition of the intestinal microbiota.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages*
  • Bifidobacterium / growth & development*
  • Blueberry Plants*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Food, Preserved
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage
  • Prebiotics*


  • Placebos
  • Polyphenols
  • Prebiotics