Strawberries may help prevent cardiovascular disease
July 6, 2012 By Press release
July 6, 2012 – Strawberries, that traditional summer treat, could be serving up some unexpected health benefits.
Scientists at the University of Warwick have been studying the beneficial effects of strawberries on cardiovascular health, particularly around how they prevent the development of heart disease and diabetes.
Professor Paul Thornalley from Warwick Medical School heads the team that discovered extracts from strawberries positively activate a protein in our bodies called Nrf2, which is shown to increase antioxidant and other protective activities. This protein works to decrease blood lipids and cholesterol, the very things that can lead to cardiovascular problems.
Eating strawberries has previously been found to counter post-meal blood glucose and low density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol – therefore decrease risk of diabetes and heart disease – but this is the first time that strawberry extracts have been proved to actively stimulate proteins that offer us protection against disease.
“We’ve discovered the science behind how strawberries work to increase our in-built defences to keep cells, organs and blood vessels healthy and can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and diabetes,” said Professor Thornalley. “So don’t feel guilty about serving up strawberries and cream … although I’d suggest more strawberries and less or even no cream.”
Screening and mathematical modelling techniques developed at the University of Warwick can now take this research further to help identify the best varieties of strawberries, how they are served or processed and how many strawberries should be eaten for optimum health benefit.
Print this page