Blueberry juice effective dye for MRIs

It's a trendy drink among health conscious people who like to pack a wallop of antioxidants while quenching their thirsts, but radiology experts have also latched on to blueberry juice as a drink to give patients before undergoing magnetic resonance imaging scans on their bile ducts.

According to research originally conducted in Japan, blueberry juice is effective as a contrast agent to improve, or delineate, the structures of the stomach, duodenum, small bowel, large bowel, pancreas and bile ducts. That's because blueberry juice is rich in manganese, a metal found in nature and an essential element in our diet.

"Normally, the fluid in the stomach is always in the way and degrades the image," said Wayne Patola, a supervisor in St Paul's Hospital MRI department in Vancouver, who introduced blueberry juice after attending radiology conferences where its benefits were being touted.

"Blueberry juice given orally will affect the way the stomach fluid behaves on MRI and effectively remove it from appearing on the image. This allows for better visualization of the bile ducts," he said.

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