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Posted on: June 10th, 2021

A recent study observed and recorded the connections between high-dose strawberry supplements and cardiometabolic risks in adults with obesity.

“When consumed at a dose of one serving of strawberries, modest effects were observed for improving HDL particle size. These findings support the role of dietary strawberries in a medical nutrition therapeutic approach for diabetes prevention in adults.”

Materials and Methods

The research used multiple research centers, double-blind studies, and cross-over trials, and was primarily conducted at Oklahoma State University. Participants in the study were volunteers from the OSU campus.

Requirements for the study were based on metabolic syndrome features, obesity according to body mass index, elevated cholesterol, and waist size (men 40”+, women 35”+). The participants were studied with three and four-week interventions.

During the study, participants drank either a freeze-dried strawberry powder or a control powder equivalent to 2.5 servings of strawberries each day. Data taken from participants during the study included health/medical history, blood pressure, body weight, height, waist size, and anthropometric measurements all used as baselines. Measurements were taken at the end of each week.

Participants also visited a clinic every two weeks to meet with a registered dietician and nurse practitioner to resupply and submit dietary data.

Resulting Data

Data from the study suggested that a daily intake of 2.5 servings of the strawberry mix decreased serum insulin and insulin resistance. Further, the data noted that fasting glucose remained unchanged. Lower doses of strawberries were not noted as having any major effects, other than an increase in HDL particle sizes.

The researchers report noted that:

“While significant improvements were not observed in conventional lipids, the results revealed a decrease in serum LDL cholesterol, which was borderline significant. Further, the higher dose of strawberries also resulted in improvements in lipid particle concentrations, especially in decreasing VLDL and chylomicron particles, as well as total and small LDL particles, all of which have important consequences in decreasing atherogenic risk in these adults.”

Research Background

Findings in this report have been corroborated by other recent clinical studies using different dietary berries. An example is a research report that used strawberries and cranberries for six weeks, noting an increase in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in first-phase insulin secretion (in relation to a control group).

Other examples come from recent studies; one that used blueberries as a supplement powder for 6 weeks and another that used cranberry juice polyphenols for 8 weeks. These studies noted similar but somewhat inconsistent results on insulin resistance in at-risk, obese adults.

Further, another recent acute study that used a slightly higher dose of strawberries (3 servings) reported a decrease in insulin load (in comparison to the control group). The rough conclusion from this report and the featured report provide preliminary evidence that 2.5-3 servings of strawberries each day may help reduce the pancreatic workload of greater insulin secretion by normalizing blood glucose levels and reducing insulin resistance.

Researchers in the featured study noted that:

“Our findings are corroborated by mechanistic studies​ demonstrating decreased PAI-1 expression by dietary polyphenols. On the other hand, we did not observe any differences in other biomarkers of obesity including serum leptin, adiponectin, CRP, resistin, and visfatin, which could be explained by the short duration of each phase of the intervention, and no difference in body weight status in these participants.”

Research at Biofortis

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