Study program & # 39; s: strawberries can help against intestinal inflammation
Abdominal pain, cramps, bloody diarrhea: millions of people suffer from chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Researchers have now discovered that a popular fruit could help patients. For example, a daily portion of strawberries can alleviate the symptoms of such diseases.
Strawberries are full of healthy ingredients. Even with 120 grams of fruit, the daily vitamin C requirement of an adult can be covered. In addition, the low caloric fruit contains a lot of folic acid and numerous minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which strengthen the heart. There is clearly much more health potential in the fruits. For example, scientists from Italy found evidence that a strawberry extract could protect against breast cancer. And researchers from the US have now discovered that the popular berries can also help with inflammatory bowel disease.
One portion of strawberries per day
Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis often cause symptoms such as severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and chronic fatigue.
In addition, such diseases increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
Some patients may be able to help with medication, but some also need surgery. Now, however, researchers report that patients' complaints can often be relieved simply by changing the diet.
As the American scientists at the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Boston said, a daily portion of strawberries (less than a cup full) can help keep the doctor away.
Unhealthy lifestyle promotes bowel disorders
"The sedentary lifestyle and eating habits of many people in this country – high-sugar foods, rich in animal fats but high fiber foods – can promote intestinal inflammation and increase the risk of IBD," the study journal "EurexAlert! University of Amherst.
On the other hand, it is known that eating a lot of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of CED.
To establish an effective and practical approach to reducing inflammatory bowel disease in CED patients and the general population, US researchers focused on strawberries because of widespread consumption.
The effect of the popular fruit was already investigated in previous studies. Much of the earlier research, however, 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 fibers, as well as phenolic compounds that are attached to the fibers and that can not be extracted with solvents," said Hang Xiao.
Moreover, according to the scientist, it is useful to study the effects of whole berries, because people usually consume all the fruit and not their extracts.
Symptoms significantly reduced
The American researchers tested the effect of strawberries on mice with inflammatory bowel disease.
For their experiment, the scientists used both sick animals and healthy mice, which served as a control group.
The sick rodents received a normal diet or food supplemented with a powder of freeze-dried whole strawberries.
According to study authors, eating a dose corresponding to just three-quarters of a cup of strawberries a day in people significantly reduced symptoms such as loss of body weight and bloody diarrhea.
In addition, inflammatory reactions in the intestinal tissue of the animals have been reduced under the strawberry therapy.
Discuss nutritional change with the doctor
But that is not all: as the scientists reported, the number of harmful bacteria in the large intestine usually increases with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and that of the beneficial bacteria.
However, as a part of the dietary change of the mice, this showed a reversing effect. Both the intestinal flora and the metabolism of the animals have been normalized.
Then the team wants to try to validate their results in human patients.
"Although three quarters of a cup of strawberries a day are beneficial for those who want to improve their gut health, Xiao advises patients to consult their doctors before changing their diet," said the magazine "EurekAlert!".
He also recommends "avoiding this type of nutritional intervention if you are allergic to the fruit." (Ad)