Strawberries lower TNF-alpha and lipid peroxidation products in obese adults with knee osteoarthritis

October 25, 2018
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Over 50 million adults in the US are diagnosed with arthritis, making it a severe public health burden. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is most common, and prevalence is increasing as obesity and mean population age increase. However, few treatments are available to alleviate pain or promote healing. Dr. Arpita Basu of the University of Nevada Las Vegas and colleagues conducted a pilot study to investigate the effects of strawberry supplementation in decreasing biomarkers of hormones, inflammation, and lipid peroxidation underlying obesity and knee OA. Using a randomized controlled crossover design, 17 obese adults with knee OA completed the intervention trial. Participants were randomized to 50 g freeze-dried strawberry powder (FDSP) or control powder for 12 weeks of supplementation, after which there was a two week washout phase before crossing over for the final 12 weeks of supplementation. 

Analysis showed that high-sensitivity TNF-alpha and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor (sTNF-R2) were significantly decreased after strawberry consumption, providing possible explanation of decreased pain symptoms in a previously-reported analysis of the same study sample. Additionally, as TNF-alpha is associated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, authors suggested that strawberries may be effective in lower inflammation in metabolic OA. Also, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) and conjugated dienes, serum biomarkers of oxidative stress, were also reduced. Authors advised further studies with larger samples to determine the effects of strawberry nutrients and phytochemicals, as well as exploration of smaller doses of strawberry supplementation. 

Source: Basu A, Kurien BT, Tran H, Byrd B, Maher J, Schell J, Masek E, Barrett JR, Lyons TJ, Betts N, Scofield RH. Strawberries decrease circulating levels of tumor necrosis factor and lipid peroxides in knee osteoarthritis in obese adults. Food Funct. 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8FO01194J