According to new published research in the Journal of Nutrition, consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods such as strawberries may play an important role in lowering cholesterol and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
To evaluate the effects of strawberries on cardiovascular risk factors, researchers at Oklahoma State University conducted a 12-week study with a group of 60 overweight adults. Participants were randomly selected to consume a high (equivalent to 500 g fresh strawberries) or low (equivalent to 250 g fresh strawberries) daily dose of a beverage made with freeze-dried strawberries, or a control beverage.
The study revealed the high dose strawberry supplements were effective in significantly reducing total and LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, both the low and high dose supplements were equally effective in decreasing lipid peroxidation compared with the control groups.
“With more than two-thirds of U.S. adults being overweight or obese, and having metabolic abnormalities associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors, we are pleased to see the positive effects that strawberries can have on lowering serum cholesterol,” said lead researcherArpita Basu, Ph.D., RD, associate professor of nutritional sciences, College of Human Sciences atOklahoma State University.
As the first 12-week study to report the total and LDL cholesterol-lowering effects of a higher amount of strawberries in obese adults, the researchers suggest that a strawberry-supplemented diet may be of clinical significance as a nutritional strategy to help reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
Link to published study:
Basu A, Betts NM, Nguyen A, Newman ED, Fu D, Lyons TJ. Freeze-dried strawberries lower serum cholesterol and lipid peroxidation in adults with abdominal adiposity and elevated serum lipids. J Nutr.