Strawberries have been reported to be potent antioxidants and reduce cardiovascular risk factors, such as elevated blood pressure, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and inflammation in limited studies. We hypothesized that freeze-dried strawberry supplementation will improve blood pressure, impaired glucose, dyslipidemia, or circulating adhesion molecules in obese subjects with metabolic syndrome, thereby lowering cardiovascular risk factors in these subjects. Twenty-seven subjects with metabolic syndrome (2 males and 25 females; body mass index, 37.5 +/- 2.15 kg/m(2); age, 47.0 +/- 3.0 years [means +/- SE]) consumed 4 cups of freeze-dried strawberry beverage (50 g freeze-dried strawberries approximately 3 cups fresh strawberries) or equivalent amounts of fluids (controls, 4 cups of water) daily for 8 weeks in a randomized controlled trial. Anthropometrics and blood pressure measurements, assessment of dietary intakes, and fasting blood draws were conducted at screen and 8 weeks of the study. Strawberry supplementation significantly decreased total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (5.8 +/- 0.2 to 5.2 +/- 0.2 mmol/L and 3.5 +/- 0.2 to 3.1 +/- 0.1 mmol/L, respectively [means +/- SE], P < .05) and small low-density lipoprotein particles using nuclear magnetic resonance-determined lipoprotein subclass profile vs controls at 8 weeks (794.6 +/- 94.0 to 681.8 +/- 86.0 nmol/L [means +/- SE], P < .05). Strawberry supplementation further decreased circulating levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 vs controls at 8 weeks (272.7 +/- 17.4 to 223.0 +/- 14.0 ng/mL [means +/- SE], P < .05). Serum glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference were not affected. Thus, short-term freeze-dried strawberry supplementation improved selected atherosclerotic risk factors, including dyslipidemia and circulating adhesion molecules in subjects with metabolic syndrome, and these results need confirmation in future trials.
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