People struggling to keep their New Year's promise to lose weight may feel tempted to click on the Internet ads that promise to tell one weird secret doctor's don't want you to know about açai berries' fat-fighting power. But the pop-ups may be promoting the wrong berry.
Swedish scientists published experimental results that suggest lingonberries, black currants and bilberries could be wonder fruits for the waist line, while fruit-fed mice fattened on açai berries.
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The experiment didn't start out as an açai berry mythbuster. The Lund University team included the berries because of their reputation as a weight-loss supplement.
"Instead, the opposite happened," said Karin Berger, diabetes researcher at Lund University, in a press release. "In our study, the açai berries led to weight gain and higher levels of fat in the liver."
The rodent in the experiment held a genetic predisposition to put on fat. Biologists used that mouse breed as a model for overweight humans. Most mice received a high fat diet along with either lingonberry, bilberry, raspberry, crowberry, blackberry, prune, blackcurrant, açai berry or no berries. Another group of mice kept their New Years resolutions and were fed a low-fat diet.