The effects of supplementation with blueberry (BE) extract (Vaccinium ashei Reade) for 14 consecutive days on biochemical, hematological, histopathological and oxidative parameters in hypercholesterolemic rats were investigated. After supplementation with lyophilized extract of BE, the levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides were decreased. Histopathological analysis showed significant decrease (p < 0.05) of aortic lesions in hypercholesterolemic rats. Oxidative parameters showed significant reductions (p < 0.05) in oxidative damage to lipids and proteins and an increase in activities of antioxidant enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. The BE extract showed an important cardioprotective effect by the improvements in the serum lipid profile, antioxidant system, particularly in reducing oxidative stress associated with hypercholesterolemia and anti-atherogenic effect in rats.
Keywords: Functional foods; Vaccinium ashei Reade; lipids; oxidative stress.