New Research on Strawberries and Vascular Health

Cardiovascular Health 0 Comment

New research showcasing the health benefits of strawberries was presented at the 2016 Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego:

  1. Overweight adolescent males who consume strawberries may lower their risk of vascular disease

This is the first study to test the impact of freeze-dried strawberry powder (FDSP) on markers of vascular health in at-risk adolescents. Previous research in adults found a promising inverse relationship between FDSP consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In a randomized, double-blind, crossover study, 25 overweight or obese males between ages 14-18 consumed 50 grams of FDSP or a calorically equivalent amount of control powder every day for a week. Before and after each test period, measures of vascular health were collected at baseline and one hour after FDSP intake.

Researchers discovered significant improvements in inflammation and vascular function. Plasma nitrite/nitrate levels spiked on the first study day, just one hour after consuming FDSP, and again after one week of intake, indicating an immediate anti-inflammatory effect (this response was not observed with the control powder). They also found an acute increase in the Framingham reactive hyperemia index after one week of FDSP consumption, which indicates improved vascular function.

The results support the premise that strawberries can promote vascular health and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese adolescent males.

Authors: Roberta R. Holt, Dragana Djurica, Jingyan Ren, Robert M. Hackman, and Carl L. Keen, University of California, Davis.

Poster Title: Effects of a Dietary Strawberry Powder on Parameters of Vascular Health in Adolescent Males

  1. Strawberry Flavonoids May Reduce Inflammation in Obese Adults

Berry flavonoids have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in experimental models, but there haven’t been many robust studies in humans. In this 12-week, randomized, dose-response controlled trial, researchers examined the effects of strawberry flavonoids on inflammatory biomarkers in adults.

Sixty adult volunteers with abdominal obesity and elevated serum lipids were assigned to drink a low-dose freeze-dried strawberry beverage (FDS), a low-dose control, a high-dose FDS beverage, or a high-dose control for 12 weeks. Control beverages were matched for calories and fiber. Inflammatory biomarkers were tested at baseline and 12 weeks.

After drinking the FDS beverage for 12 weeks, subjects had significantly improved blood nitrite levels compared to the low-dose and control groups.

“Typically, obesity and elevated blood lipids have been shown to increase levels of nitrite associated with inflammation, and thus a decrease in nitrite is an anti-inflammatory benefit of strawberries,” explains lead author Arpita Basu, PhD, RD/LD.

Consuming strawberries may help lower certain inflammatory biomarkers, which reduce the risk of chronic disease in obese adults.

Authors: Arpita Basu, Stacy Morris, Nancy M. Betts, Angel Nguyen, Dongxu Fu, Timothy J Lyon

Poster Title: Effects of dietary strawberries on inflammatory biomarkers in participants with abdominal obesity and dyslipidemia

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