Strawberries May Reduce Colonic Inflammation and Improve Gut Health

August 20, 2018
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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an increasingly common disorder that may result in severe diarrhea, gastrointestinal pain, and fatigue. Diet and lifestyle are partly to blame for its occurrence, as high-sugar, high-fat, low-fiber diets typical of a Western lifestyle in combination with increased sedentary activity may promote colonic inflammation and increase risk of IBD. However, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables may play a protective effect, which is why researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst chose to investigate strawberry intake as an effective and practical approach to treating IBD and its symptoms.

In this study, four groups of mice were assigned to diets with varying levels of whole strawberry powder included: 1) healthy mice consuming a regular diet, no strawberry powder; 2) mice with IBD consuming a regular diet, no strawberry powder; 3) mice with IBD consuming 2.5% strawberry powder; and 4) mice with IBD consuming 5% strawberry powder. The amounts of strawberry powder were in line with what a human could reasonable consume.

Results showed that dietary consumption of whole strawberries at a dose equal to about 3/4 cup per day in humans significantly reduced symptoms in mice with IBD. Inflammation was reduced and unhealthy gut microbiota composition began to reverse. Human trials are needed to further explore this relationship.

Source: American Chemical Society. "Strawberries could help reduce harmful inflammation in the colon." ScienceDaily. 20 August 2018.

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