Eat strawberries to improve cholesterol levels

According to a new study published in the October 2009 issue of Nutrition Journal, women with metabolic syndrome had reduced total cholesterol levels - including LDL - after a brief period of daily consumption of a strawberry-based beverage.

This news comes on the heels of recent research conducted by David J.A. Jenkins, MD, PhD, that showed antioxidant levels in strawberries can improve and maintain the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering diets. Both of these recent studies concluded that the cholesterol lowering effects may be attributed to one or more of the following: antioxidants, fiber, or phytochemicals in strawberries.

The new study found that women with metabolic syndrome who consumed two cups of a beverage made with freeze-dried strawberry powder, twice a day for four weeks, showed a decrease in cholesterol levels. This is important because high cholesterol is known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women with metabolic syndrome and contributes to CVD mortality in both women and men. Additionally, those same women showed an increase in ellagic acid, an antioxidant found in strawberries, during the four-week period, indicating that the phytochemicals in strawberries are easily absorbed.

Lead researcher, Arpita Basu, PhD, RD, Nutritional Sciences at Oklahoma State University, was encouraged by the results and said, "In just four weeks, we saw a significant reduction in cholesterol among these women who had moderately elevated cholesterol levels. This is exciting news as we look closer at the potential of strawberries when it comes to disease prevention."

Overall, these types of studies continue to demonstrate a valid scientific reason for eating strawberries on a regular basis - not just for taste - but for health. California strawberries are a super fruit that can be easily incorporated into a healthy lifestyle since they are grown year-round and available in supermarkets across the country. And, as America's favorite fruit, they are an easy daily choice for people of all ages.

Source:

California Strawberry Commission

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