Category Archives: Mountain Ash (Sorbus)

Healthy Northern Berries Improve Glucose Utilization

This study from Norway centered around glucose control in the liver. The researchers studied the pathways of glucose uptake and described the enzymes used in the final steps of carbohydrate digestion as alpha-amylase and alpha glucosidase. Any chemical that inhibits these enzymes will slow glucose uptake in the liver and be a benefit to anyone dealing with type 2 diabetes. They studies a lot of berries (bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), black currants (Ribes nigrum),  bog whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitas-idaea), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), red currant (Ribes rubric), rowan berries (mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia), and sea buckthorn (Hippophae (Elaeagnus) rhamnoides). The phenolic compounds in all the berries inhibited response the enzymes that promote glucose uptake. Some berries had other chemicals that actually promoted glucose uptake: mountain ash and bilberry being the highest. The berries with the most powerful inhibitors were crowberry, cloudberry, bog whortleberry (bog blueberry), and lingonberry with crowberry being ranked number 1!

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Lots of Berries at the Palmer State Fair

I don’t often get to visit the Palmer fair, but I enjoyed seeing all the fruit displays, everything from apples to oblipika (the sea buckthorn). And then there was the odd pink mountain ash located on the fair grounds. Might be Sorbus hupehbensis ‘Pink Pagoda’. Maybe.

Sorbus and Aronia

Another berry I was wondering about is Sorbus (Mountain ash) and Aronia (chokeberries). It is very typical berry in Russia. Red Sorbus is used a lot for crafts – kids will make necklaces out of it. Aronia is used in jams, preserves and compote.

Sorbus and Aronia