Potential impact of strawberries on human health: a review of the science

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2004;44(1):1-17. doi: 10.1080/10408690490263756.


Epidemiological studies have noted a consistent association between the consumption of diets rich in fruits and vegetables and a lower risk for chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. There is accumulating evidence that much of the health-promoting potential of these plant foods may come from phytochemicals, bioactive compounds not designated as traditional nutrients. In strawberries, the most abundant of these are ellagic acid, and certain flavonoids: anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin and kaempferol. These compounds in strawberries have potent antioxidant power. Antioxidants help lower risk of cardiovascular events by inhibition of LDL-cholesterol oxidation, promotion of plaque stability, improved vascular endothelial function, and decreased tendency for thrombosis. Furthermore, strawberry extracts have been shown to inhibit COX enzymes in vitro, which would modulate the inflammatory process. Individual compounds in strawberries have demonstrated anticancer activity in several different experimental systems, blocking initiation of carcinogenesis, and suppressing progression and proliferation of tumors. Preliminary animal studies have indicated that diets rich in strawberries may also have the potential to provide benefits to the aging brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics
  • Biological Availability
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Ellagic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Ellagic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage
  • Flavonoids / pharmacokinetics
  • Fragaria*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybenzoates / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxybenzoates / pharmacokinetics
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Ellagic Acid
  • phenolic acid