Elderberry Juice Powder Prevents Obesity and Improves Gut Health

Jim Crocker
23rd May, 2024

Elderberry Juice Powder Prevents Obesity and Improves Gut Health

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by Washington State University found that elderberry juice powder can help prevent diet-induced obesity in mice
  • Mice consuming elderberry juice powder gained less weight and had lower body fat, regardless of their physical activity levels
  • Elderberry juice powder increased beneficial gut bacteria and reduced harmful bacteria, contributing to better metabolic health
Obesity is a growing global health concern, and researchers are continually searching for effective strategies to combat it. A recent study conducted by Washington State University has provided promising insights into the role of anthocyanin-rich foods in preventing diet-induced obesity[1]. This study specifically investigated the effects of elderberry juice powder on obesity and its interaction with the gut microbiome, both alone and in combination with physical activity. Anthocyanins are plant pigments found in various fruits and vegetables, known for their potential health benefits[2]. Previous studies have shown that anthocyanins can contribute to weight maintenance and may help prevent obesity[3]. Additionally, anthocyanins have been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes[4] and decreased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality[5]. In the Washington State University study, male C57BL/6J mice were divided into four groups: (1) a high-fat diet without wheel access, (2) a high-fat diet with unlimited wheel access, (3) a high-fat diet supplemented with 10% elderberry juice powder without wheel access, and (4) a high-fat diet supplemented with 10% elderberry juice powder with unlimited wheel access. The researchers aimed to determine whether elderberry juice powder could mitigate the effects of a high-fat diet on weight gain and how physical activity might influence these effects. The findings revealed that mice fed the elderberry juice powder gained significantly less weight and had lower fat pad weights and whole-body fat content compared to those on the control diet, regardless of their physical activity levels. Interestingly, active mice that consumed elderberry juice powder ate more than their counterparts on the control diet, yet still managed to maintain a healthier weight profile. This suggests that elderberry juice powder may have properties that help regulate weight beyond merely reducing food intake. The study also delved into the role of the gut microbiome in mediating these effects. Elderberry juice powder was found to increase beneficial gut bacteria like Bifidobacterium and promote the growth of Akkermansia and Anaeroplasma, while preventing the growth of Desulfovibrio, a bacterium often associated with negative health outcomes. This aligns with previous research indicating that gut microbiota can significantly influence metabolic health and obesity[2]. The bidirectional relationship between anthocyanins and the gut microbiome is noteworthy. Anthocyanins can alter the composition of gut bacteria, which in turn can affect the metabolism and bioactivity of these compounds. The study also highlighted that physical activity could enhance the absorption of gut-derived phenolic metabolites, potentially increasing the bioactivity of anthocyanins. This finding is particularly relevant as it suggests that combining anthocyanin-rich diets with regular physical activity could offer synergistic benefits in obesity prevention. In summary, the Washington State University study provides compelling evidence that elderberry juice powder, rich in anthocyanins, can effectively prevent diet-induced obesity in animal models. This effect is largely mediated through the modulation of the gut microbiome, with physical activity further enhancing the beneficial outcomes. These findings build on previous research highlighting the health benefits of anthocyanins[2][3][4][5] and suggest that incorporating anthocyanin-rich foods, such as elderberries, into the diet, along with regular physical activity, may be a promising strategy for obesity prevention and overall health improvement.



Main Study

1) Diet-Induced Rodent Obesity Is Prevented and the Fecal Microbiome Is Improved with Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis) Juice Powder.

Published 22nd May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Concentrations of anthocyanins in common foods in the United States and estimation of normal consumption.

Journal: Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, Issue: Vol 54, Issue 11, May 2006

3) Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance: three prospective cohorts of 124,086 US men and women followed for up to 24 years.


4) Dietary flavonoid intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women.


5) Dietary Flavonoid and Lignan Intake and Mortality in Prospective Cohort Studies: Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis.


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