Strawberries may help protect obese adults from cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a randomized, controlled trial published in The Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. The new clinical study indicates that eating strawberries daily boosts blood antioxidant markers, which defend cells from oxidative stress and damage.
Sixty obese adults with high cholesterol and triglycerides drank a shake made from freeze-dried strawberries (FDS) or a control powder (CP) twice a day for 12 weeks. They were randomly assigned to one of four groups:
- Low dose FDS shake (25 grams FDS/day)
- Low dose CP shake (25 grams CP/day)
- High dose FDS shake (50 grams FDS/day)
- High dose CP shake (50 grams CP/day)
The beverages were matched for calories and total fiber.
At the 12-week screening, subjects who drank the strawberry shakes exhibited increases in key antioxidant biomarkers, including increased glutathione levels, increased serum catalase activity, and an overall increase in antioxidant capacity of the blood. The body’s antioxidant system helps fight the negative effects of free radicals and oxidative damage to cells. Oxidative stress is a major contributor to elevated risk for chronic diseases, and may be triggered by many factors, including obesity.
Because of their ability to increase the body’s antioxidant function, consuming strawberries regularly may help protect at-risk individuals from obesity-related conditions, including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Basu, A., Morris, S., Nguyen, A., Betts, N.M., Fu, D., & Lyons, T.J. (2016). Effects of dietary strawberry supplementation on antioxidant biomarkers in obese adults with above optimal serum lipids. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. doi: 10.1155/2016/3910630