Strawberries lower bad cholesterol, scientists have found

A group of volunteers consumed 0,5 kg of strawberries every day for a month for a month in an experiment designed to establish the beneficial effect of strawberries on blood counts. Scientists have found that strawberries significantly reduced the level of bad cholesterol and triglycerides (glycerol derivatives that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease), and also has a number of other important beneficial properties.

The study was carried out jointly by a team of Italian scientists from the Polytechnic University della Marsh (UNIVPM) and Spanish scientists from the Universities of Salamanca, Granada and Seville. The results were published in the scientific Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

The experiment involved 23 healthy volunteers who passed a detailed blood test before and after the experiment. The analyzes showed that the total amount of cholesterol decreased by 8,78%, the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – or, colloquially, “bad cholesterol” – by 13,72%, and the amount of triglycerides – by 20,8%. Indicators of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – “good protein” – remained at the same level.

The consumption of strawberries by the subjects showed positive changes in the analyzes and other important indicators. For example, scientists noted an improvement in the overall lipid profile in blood plasma, in oxidative biomarkers (in particular, increased BMD – maximum oxygen consumption – and vitamin C content), anti-hemolytic protection and platelet function. It has also been found that strawberry consumption protects against ultraviolet radiation, as well as reduces the damage that alcohol has on the stomach lining, increases the number of erythrocytes (red blood cells) and the antioxidant activity of the blood.

It was previously established that strawberries have a powerful antioxidant effect, but now a number of other important indicators have been added – that is, we can talk about the “rediscovery” of strawberries by modern science.

Maurizio Battino, UNIVPM scientist and leader of the strawberry experiment, said: “This is the first study to support the hypothesis that the bioactive components of strawberries play a protective role and increase significant biomarkers and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.” The researcher said that it has not yet been possible and remains to be seen which component of strawberries has such an effect, but there is some scientific evidence that it could be anthocyanin – a plant pigment that gives strawberries their characteristic red color.

Based on the results of this study, scientists are going to publish another article on the importance of strawberries in the journal Food Chemistry, where it will be announced that results have been obtained to increase the antioxidant activity of blood plasma, the number of erythrocytes and mononuclear cells.

The experiment once again proves the importance of eating such a tasty and healthy berry as strawberries, and indirectly – the potential, not yet fully scientifically established, benefits of vegan nutrition in general.


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