Strawberries activate protection protein to prevent cardiovascular disease

July 5, 2012

Strawberries, the traditional summer treat associated with Wimbledon could be serving up some unexpected health benefits.

Scientists at the University of Warwick have been studying the beneficial effects of strawberries on our , 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 and cholesterol, the very things which can lead to cardiovascular problems.

Eating strawberries has previously been found to counter post-meal and , or 'bad' cholesterol and 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.

Professor Thornalley explained:

"We've discovered the science behind how strawberries work to increase our in-built defences to keep cells, organs and blood vessels healthy and which can reduce the risk of developing such as heart disease and diabetes. 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.

Explore further: Strawberries protect the stomach from alcohol

Related Stories

Strawberries protect the stomach from alcohol

October 25, 2011
In an experiment on rats, European researchers have proved that eating strawberries reduces the harm that alcohol can cause to the stomach mucous membrane. Published in the open access journal Plos One, the study may contribute ...

Recommended for you

Older drivers adapt their thinking to improve road hazard detection

September 26, 2017
A recent study finds that older drivers showed adaptive responses according to the amount of traffic in a driving scene when identifying road hazards. Although younger drivers are faster and more accurate at identifying driving ...

80 percent of activity tracker users stick with the devices for at least six months

September 26, 2017
Use of activity trackers, such as wearable devices and smartphone apps, is on the rise, and a new study shows that 80 percent of users stuck with the device for at least six months. Though the gadgets may help motivate users ...

Study finds being in a good mood for your flu jab boosts its effectiveness

September 25, 2017
New research by a team of health experts at the University of Nottingham has found evidence that being in a positive mood on the day of your flu jab can increase its protective effect.

New tool demonstrates high cost of lack of sleep in the workplace

September 25, 2017
Sleep disorders and sleep deficiency are hidden costs that affect employers across America. Seventy percent of Americans admit that they routinely get insufficient sleep, and 30 percent of U.S. workers and 44 percent of night ...

Maternal diet could affect kids' brain reward circuitry

September 25, 2017
Researchers in France found that rats who ate a junk food diet during pregnancy had heavier pups that strongly preferred the taste of fat straight after weaning. While a balanced diet in childhood seemed to reduce the pups' ...

Exercise can make cells healthier, promoting longer life, study finds

September 22, 2017
Whether it's running, walking, cycling, swimming or rowing, it's been well-known since ancient times that doing some form of aerobic exercise is essential to good health and well-being. You can lose weight, sleep better, ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

210
not rated yet Jul 05, 2012
Strawberries are great! Why, I even have Strawberries in my music!
"Incense and Peppermints" Strawberry Alarm Clock, 1967 - Youtube here I come... groovy baby, Groovy...back in the day baby...back in the DAY!!!

word-to-ya-muthas

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.