London, Feb 26 IANS | 10 months ago

Strawberries can dramatically reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, reveals new research.

A few volunteers were asked to consume half a kilo of strawberries a day for a month to see whether it altered their blood parameters in any way.

By the end of the month, their levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides had reduced significantly, according to the analyses conducted by Italian and Spanish scientists.

"The study supports the protective role of the bioactive compounds in strawberries in tackling recognised markers and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases," said Maurizio Battino, director of the study.

Strawberries are known for their antioxidant properties.

Researchers from the Universita Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM, Italy), together with colleagues from the Universities of Salamanca, Granada and Seville (Spain), conducted an analysis that revealed that these fruits also help to reduce cholesterol.

The team set up an experiment in which they added 500g of strawberries to the daily diets of 23 healthy volunteers over a month.

The total amount of cholesterol, the levels of low-density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) and the quantity of triglycerides fell to 8.78 percent, 13.72 percent and 20.8 percent, respectively.

Eating strawberries also improved other parameters such as the general plasma lipid profile, antioxidant biomarkers and platelet function.

The researchers strongly believe the benefits lie in anthocyanins - the pigment that gives the fruit its red colour.

The results were published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

(Posted on 26-02-2014)

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