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Strawberries May Help Beat Chronic Inflammation

A study conducted at the Illinois Institute of Technology shows that strawberry extract may help reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, type-2 diabetes, and arthritis.

The results were published online ahead of print in May 2011 in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The research group consisted of 24 obese adults. All were given a high carbohydrate, moderate fat meal, which is known to produce inflammatory and insulin responses after eating. In addition, half of the group was given a strawberry drink and the other half was given a placebo.

Six hours after consuming the meal, those who drank the strawberry drink showed a 25% lower level of IL-6 (a biomarker, or sign, of inflammation) than those who drank the placebo. CRP, another biomarker of inflammation, was 13% lower in the strawberry drink group.

The anti-inflammatory effects of strawberries seem to be separate from the antioxidant effects of strawberries. The researchers noted that the changes in the anti-inflammatory markers appeared much later than the antioxidant effects.

Previous studies have also linked strawberries with prevention of esophageal cancer, reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease, decreasing the risk of bladder infections, and improved vision. Strawberries are easily incorporated into your daily diet by adding them to smoothies, yogurt, pancakes, and fruit salads.

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