- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

WINONA, Minn. (AP) - A team of biologists at Winona State University is testing a new variety of more naturally sweet cranberries.

Five student researchers and professor Ted Wilson are conducting a clinical study of the new fruit that’s being developed through Rutgers University and its health benefits in comparison to that of standard sweetened cranberry juice. The group is trying to figure out how a body responds to different juices, Rachel Dahl, a WSU student and lead coordinator of the study, told the Winona Daily News (http://bit.ly/1CIIm6n ).

The new variety of cranberry could be developed into a product that has less sugar, artificial sweeteners and calories after they determine what its health benefits are, Dahl said.

“People who have diabetes would still be able to drink this juice,” she said.

Potential participants are being interviewed by the student clinicians. They are seeking people who are overweight and not taking blood lipid-lowering medication, insulin or medication to control blood glucose. The research team also hopes to gather a group of participants who have certain risk factors like high cholesterol or a history of cardiac problems.

Study participants will receive $100 for attending two 90-minute lab sessions in which several blood samples will be drawn by a phlebotomist.

The study is being funded by a federal agriculture department grant. The research team plans to present their findings at a conference this spring.

Wilson said the clinical study provides an excellent learning experience for his five students since many of them are planning to enter the field of medicine.

“This is where they actually get to meet people,” the WSU professor said. “They learn how to work with subjects.”

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Information from: Winona Daily News, http://www.winonadailynews.com

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