Freeze-dried strawberry powder improves lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in women with metabolic syndrome: baseline and post intervention effects

Nutr J. 2009 Sep 28:8:43. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-8-43.


Background: Strawberry flavonoids are potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that have been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors in prospective cohort studies. Effects of strawberry supplementation on metabolic risk factors have not been studied in obese populations. We tested the hypothesis that freeze-dried strawberry powder (FSP) will lower fasting lipids and biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation at four weeks compared to baseline. We also tested the tolerability and safety of FSP in subjects with metabolic syndrome. FSP is a concentrated source of polyphenolic flavonoids, fiber and phytosterols.

Methods: Females (n = 16) with 3 features of metabolic syndrome (waist circumference >35 inches, triglycerides > 150 mg/dL, fasting glucose > 100 mg/dL and < 126 mg/dL, HDL <50 mg/dL, or blood pressure >130/85 mm Hg) were enrolled in the study. Subjects consumed two cups of the strawberry drink daily for four weeks. Each cup had 25 g FSP blended in water. Fasting blood draws, anthropometrics, dietary analyses, and blood pressure measurements were done at baseline and 4 weeks. Biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation were measured using ELISA techniques. Plasma ellagic acid was measured using HPLC-UV techniques.

Results: Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels were significantly lower at 4 weeks versus baseline (-5% and -6%, respectively, p < 0.05), as was lipid peroxidation in the form of malondialdehyde and hydroxynonenal (-14%, p < 0.01). Oxidized-LDL showed a decreasing trend at 4 weeks (p = 0.123). No effects were noted on markers of inflammation including C-reactive protein and adiponectin. A significant number of subjects (13/16) showed an increase in plasma ellagic acid at four weeks versus baseline, while no significant differences were noted in dietary intakes at four weeks versus baseline. Thus, short-term supplementation of freeze-dried strawberries appeared to exert hypocholesterolemic effects and decrease lipid peroxidation in women with metabolic syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Beverages
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Female
  • Fragaria / chemistry*
  • Freeze Drying
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lipid Peroxidation* / drug effects
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Middle Aged


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Lipids
  • Cholesterol