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Effects of dietary strawberry powder on blood lipids and inflammatory markers in obese human subjects

  • Susan J. Zunino (a1), Mardi A. Parelman (a2), Tammy L. Freytag (a1), Charles B. Stephensen (a1), Darshan S. Kelley (a1), Bruce E. Mackey (a3), Leslie R. Woodhouse (a1) and Ellen L. Bonnel (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 09 November 2011

Obesity is a strong risk factor for the development of CVD, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. The overall goal of the present pilot study was to feed strawberries, in the form of freeze-dried powder, to obese subjects to determine whether dietary strawberries beneficially altered lipid profiles and reduced blood markers of inflammation compared with a control intervention. A total of twenty healthy subjects (thirteen females and seven males) aged between 20 and 50 years with a BMI between 30 and 40 kg/m2 completed the present 7-week double-blind, randomised, cross-over trial. Each subject received a prepared diet 7 d/week for 7 weeks consisting of approximately 35 % of energy from fat, 20 % protein, 45 % carbohydrate and 14 g fibre. Blood was collected on days 1 and 8 for baseline information. After the first week, subjects were randomly assigned to the strawberry powder (equivalent to four servings of frozen strawberries) or control (strawberry-flavoured) intervention for 3 weeks. For the remaining 3 weeks, subjects crossed over to the opposite intervention. Blood was collected again at the end of weeks 3, 4, 6 and 7. A comprehensive chemistry panel, lipid profile analyses and measurement of inflammatory mediators were performed for each blood draw. A 3-week dietary intervention with strawberry powder reduced plasma concentrations of cholesterol and small HDL-cholesterol particles, and increased LDL particle size in obese subjects (P < 0·05). Dietary strawberry powder reduced risk factors for CVD, stroke and diabetes in obese volunteers, suggesting a potential role for strawberries as a dietary means to decrease obesity-related disease.

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*Corresponding author: Dr S. J. Zunino, fax +1 530 752 5271, email
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