Berries, their micronutrients and bone health

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The design and the development of functional foods is a key issue for bone health and a scientific challenge as well. As most studies have focused on calcium, and have paid less attention to other nutrients, our knowledge of the influence of nutrition on bone health remains limited. It has been well acknowledged that the human diet contains a wide and complex range of bioactive molecules endowed with interesting protective properties. In this context, and according to their high content in micronutrients, a growing body of evidence has enlightened the high nutritional value of berries. This review addresses the emerging interest in berries for bone health.

Recent findings

Recent studies indicate that berry intakes are relevant to prevent osteopenia in humans. Their bone-sparing effects can be partly explained by their content in phytochemicals and vitamins. Beyond their antioxidant or anti-inflammatory functions, those micronutrients have been shown to modulate enzyme activities, cellular signaling pathways, and gene expression.

Summary

Berry-enriched foods represent a relevant opportunity in the design of nutritional strategies targeting bone alteration.

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