Research led by Penn State University focused on adult men and women with elevated serum cholesterol
WATSONVILLE, Calif., July 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A daily serving of 13 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder appeared to lower total cholesterol (TC) by almost 3% and LDL cholesterol (LDL C) by almost 5%, according to a randomized, double-blind, controlled crossover study recently published by the Journal of the American Nutrition Associationi. The new study strengthens the body of research that has already demonstrated a cholesterol-lowering benefit from eating strawberries. Thirteen grams of strawberry powder is equivalent to one cup of fresh berries in terms of the amount of calories, carbohydrates, potassium and fibre.
The study was conducted with 40 men and women, aged 35 to 60. The participants were overweight or obese and had elevated serum cholesterol, but no additional illness or chronic disease. During three periods of four weeks each – separated by a two-week washout period – participants received 40 grams of freeze-dried 100% strawberry powder (the high dose), 13 grams of freeze-dried strawberry powder (the low dose), or a control (no strawberry powder). Participants were instructed to consume the powder once per day and to maintain their usual diet and exercise routine.
The researchers found a significant effect on lowering serum LDL C and TC. The low dose strawberry supplementation resulted in a 4.9% reduction in LDL-C compared to the high dose, but not compared to the control. The low dose also resulted in a 2.4% reduction in TC compared to the high dose and 2.8% reduction compared to the control. No additional significant effects were noted. The authors were unable to explain why the low dose produced a larger effect than the high dose of strawberry powder.
Other studies have previously linked strawberries, which are a source of fibre, phytosterols, and polyphenols, to several markers for cardiovascular disease. In a study of obese and overweight adults, daily consumption of strawberries significantly reduced TC and LDL cholesterol levels, reduced small LDL particle concentrations, and decreased lipid peroxidation.ii Strawberries have also been linked to a decrease in markers for oxidative stress, inflammation and diastolic blood pressure.
The Pennsylvania State University led the study in cooperation with the University of Arizona, Tucson; Lafayette College; and Texas Tech University. The study was supported by the California Strawberry Commission, which also provided the strawberry powder.
For more information on strawberry research, you can view the California Strawberry Commission’s Health Research Round-up at the Nutrition Portal at www.calstrawberry.com.
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