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article imageStrawberries lower cholesterol

By Tim Sandle     Mar 9, 2014 in Health
Previous studies have demonstrated the antioxidant capacity of strawberries. Now researchers have revealed that these fruits also help to reduce cholesterol.
Researchers have carried out an analysis that reveals that strawberries help to reduce cholesterol. Although the results were interesting, there is still no direct evidence about which compounds of this fruit are behind their beneficial effects. What is known that the berries seem to work.
For the study a team of volunteers ate half a kilo of strawberries a day for a month to see whether it altered their blood parameters in any way. At the end of this unusual treatment, their levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly reduced.
To measure the effect of the strawberries, the researchers took blood samples before and after this period to compare data. The results showed that levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or bad cholesterol) and the quantity of triglycerides fell to 8.78 percent, 13.72 percent and 20.8 percent respectively. The high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) remained unchanged.
The findings add to research that has shown that blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of plant compounds known as flavonoids. Dietary flavonoids can potentially expand blood vessels thus countering the build-up of plague which creates a blockade in the coronary arteries. Eventually this may lead to heart attacks.
The reason for the apparent protective effects of these fruits is due to strawberries containing high levels of naturally occurring compounds called dietary flavonoids. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant activity. A specific type of flavonoids, called anthocyanins, found in these fruits, may help dilate arteries, counter the build-up of plaque and provide cardiovascular benefits.
The research was carried out by the Università Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM, Italy), together with colleagues from the Universities of Salamanca, Granada and Seville (Spain). The findings have been published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, in a paper titled “One-month strawberry-rich anthocyanin supplementation ameliorates cardiovascular risk, oxidative stress markers and platelet activation in humans.”
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