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

New shoe makes running 4 percent easier, 2-hour marathon possible, study shows

November 17, 2017
Eleven days after Boulder-born Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon in new state-of-the-art racing flats known as "4%s," University of Colorado Boulder researchers have published the study that inspired the shoes' ...

Vaping while pregnant could cause craniofacial birth defects, study shows

November 16, 2017
Using e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause birth defects of the oral cavity and face, according to a recent Virginia Commonwealth University study.

Study: For older women, every movement matters

November 16, 2017
Folding your laundry or doing the dishes might not be the most enjoyable parts of your day. But simple activities like these may help prolong your life, according to the findings of a new study in older women led by the University ...

When vegetables are closer in price to chips, people eat healthier, study finds

November 16, 2017
When healthier food, like vegetables and dairy products, is pricier compared to unhealthy items, like salty snacks and sugary sweets, Americans are significantly less likely to have a high-quality diet, a new Drexel University ...

Children's exposure to secondhand smoke may be vastly underestimated by parents

November 15, 2017
Four out of 10 children in the US are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the American Heart Association. A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that parents who smoke mistakenly rely on their own physical senses ...

How pomegranate extract alters breast cancer stem cell properties

November 15, 2017
A University at Albany research team has found evidence suggesting that the same antioxidant that gives pomegranate fruit their vibrant red color can alter the characteristics of breast cancer stem cells, showing the superfood's ...

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.