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Tags: strawberries | heart | health

Strawberries Boost Heart Health

Monday, 09 July 2012 11:59 AM EDT

Here’s sweet news for strawberry lovers: A compound in the seasonal summer fruit helps to boost cardiovascular health, British researchers have found.
Scientists at the University of Warwick have discovered strawberry extracts activate a protein in the body called “Nrf2” that has been found to increase levels of disease-causing antioxidants and has other heart-healthy properties. The protein works to decrease blood lipids (fats) and cholesterol, which can lead to cardiovascular problems, diabetes and heart disease.
“We've discovered the science behind how strawberries work to increase our in-built defenses to keep cells, organs and blood vessels healthy and which can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and diabetes,” said lead researcher Paul Thornalley, of Warwick Medical School. “So don't feel guilty about serving up strawberries and cream … although I'd suggest more strawberries and less or even no cream!”
Previous studies have found eating strawberries can moderate the rise in blood sugar after a meal and combat LDL “bad" cholesterol – two key factors related to diabetes and heart disease. But the Warwick research is the first study to determine that strawberry extracts actively stimulate proteins that protect against disease.
“Screening and mathematical modeling 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,” said Thornalley.
The study, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, was presented at a meeting of the Society for Free Radical Research International at Imperial College London.

© HealthDay

A compound found in the seasonal summer fruit helps to raise cardiovascular health.
Monday, 09 July 2012 11:59 AM
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