Strawberries May Reduce Heart Disease Risk, Boost Glucose Control

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Strawberries, America's favorite fruit, are top for consumers in taste, and research shows that they may be a good choice in promoting heart health as well. A new study looking specifically at cardiovascular health and improved glucose control was presented in a poster session at Nutrition 2024, the American Society for Nutrition's annual meeting, on June 30 in Chicago. Primary investigator Lasantha Krishan Hirimuthugoda, M.D., postdoctoral research associate at Illinois Institute of Technology, presented the findings. The study aimed to investigate dose-related effects of strawberry fruit intake on endothelial function and glucose control, specifically investigating the relationship of flow-mediated dilation (FMD) responses to intervention on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

The study included 36 women and 32 men, aged 20 to 62 years with a body mass index (BMI) 29.8±4.8 kg/m2. Researchers assessed the effects of strawberry intake on FMD as well as the relationship of the FMD responses to intervention on CVD risk. FMD% was significantly influenced by eating strawberry daily for 4 weeks compared to control suggesting a dose-response toward higher to lower median, respectively (Kruskal-Wallis test, p0.05). In a logistic regression model (with goodness of fit p=0.33) using all interventions with FMD responses and a 2% increase in FMD as an indicator of reduced CVD risk, suggested strawberry intake dose-dependently reduced CVD risk by 8-times compared to the control group (p

"A diet low in fruit is among the top three risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes," said co-author Britt Burton-Freeman, Ph.D., professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. "Adding as little as one cup of strawberries a day to your diet may show beneficial effects on your cardiovascular health."

As one of the most popular and accessible fruits in the U.S., strawberries are a flavor-favorite with consumers. A serving of 8 strawberries (one cup) fulfills the daily recommended value of vitamin C and delivers a host of other nutrients and beneficial bioactive compounds. Available year-round, strawberries offer consumers a versatile and convenient fruit option loved by kids and adults.

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