Scientifically confirmed: Red strawberries help against intestinal inflammation

Scientifically confirmed: Red strawberries help against intestinal inflammation

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Study shows: Strawberries could help against inflammation of the intestine

Abdominal pain, cramps, bloody diarrhea: Millions of people are suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Researchers have now found that a popular fruit could help sufferers. Accordingly, a daily serving of strawberries can alleviate the symptoms of such diseases.

Healthy fruits

Strawberries are full of healthy ingredients. An adult's daily vitamin C requirement can be covered with just 120 grams of fruit. In addition, the low-calorie fruit contains a lot of folic acid and numerous minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which strengthen the heart. But there is obviously much more health potential in the fruit. For example, scientists from Italy found evidence that an extract from strawberries could protect against breast cancer tumors. And researchers from the United States have now found that the popular berries can also help with inflammatory bowel diseases.

One serving of strawberries a day

Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis often lead to symptoms such as severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and chronic fatigue.

Such diseases also increase the risk of colon cancer.

Medicines can help some people, but some also need surgery. However, researchers are now reporting that the symptoms of the patient can often be alleviated by simply changing the diet.

As the US scientists explained at the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Boston, a daily serving of strawberries (less than a cup full) can help keep the doctor away.

Unhealthy lifestyle promotes bowel disease

"The sedentary lifestyle and eating habits of many people in this country - foods with a high sugar content, lots of animal fats, but a low-fiber diet - can promote intestinal inflammation and increase the risk of IBD," quotes the study magazine "EurekAlert!" Study leader Hang Xiao von der University of Massachusetts Amherst.

On the other hand, it is known that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of IBD.

In order to establish an effective and practical approach to reducing intestinal inflammation in IBD patients and the general population, the US researchers focused on strawberries due to their wide consumption.

The effect of the popular fruit has already been investigated in previous studies. However, the bulk of previous research has focused on the effects of purified compounds and strawberry extracts.

"But if you only test the purified compounds and extracts, you will miss many other important components in the berries, such as fiber, as well as phenolic compounds that are bound to the fibers and that cannot be extracted with solvents," says Hang Xiao.

In addition, according to the scientist, it also makes sense to study the effects of whole berries, since people mostly consume the whole fruit and not its extracts.

Symptoms significantly reduced

The US researchers have now tested the effects of strawberries on mice with inflammatory bowel diseases.

For their experiment, the scientists used both sick animals and healthy mice, which served as a control group.

The sick rodents were given either a normal diet or food that was enriched with a powder of freeze-dried whole strawberries.

According to the study authors, it was found that eating a dose that corresponds to only three quarters of a cup of strawberries a day in humans significantly reduced symptoms such as weight loss and bloody diarrhea.

In addition, inflammation reactions in the intestinal tissue of the animals decreased under strawberry therapy.

Discuss dietary changes with the doctor

But that's not all: As the scientists reported, the number of harmful bacteria in the large intestine in inflammatory bowel diseases usually increases and that of beneficial bacteria decreases.

In the context of the change in diet of the mice, however, there was a reversal effect. Both the intestinal flora and the metabolism of the animals have normalized.

The team next wants to try to validate their results in human patients.

But: "While three quarters of a cup of strawberries a day are beneficial for those who want to improve their intestinal health, Xiao advises patients to consult their doctors before changing their diet," says the specialist journal "EurekAlert!"

He also recommends “avoiding this type of nutritional intervention if you are allergic to the fruit.” (Ad)

Author and source information

Video: Ulcerative Colitis Healed. What I Ate to Heal IBD (November 2022).