From Wild Hive 20/11/23
A new study published in Nutrients reveals that daily strawberry consumption over 12 weeks can lessen memory interference and depressive symptoms in middle-aged, overweight adults with mild cognitive decline.
Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., lead researcher and University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center professor, notes that dementia encompasses many diseases without cures. He emphasizes the importance of prevention and mitigation through diet and lifestyle, given the uncertainty of effective therapies.
The study was a double-blind, randomized controlled trial involving five men and 25 women. Participants were divided into two groups: one received a strawberry powder made from freeze-dried whole fruit, while the other received a control powder resembling the strawberry powder in taste, appearance, and carbohydrate content but lacking polyphenols.
Participants consumed daily packets of either strawberry or control powder. Each strawberry powder packet contained 13 grams, equivalent to about 1 cup of fresh strawberries, providing 36.8 milligrams of anthocyanins. During the study, participants were asked to avoid all other berry products.
Krikorian explains the choice of a middle-aged, overweight demographic, citing the long-term development of dementia and the possible inflammatory role of metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes.
The study found that participants consuming strawberry powder made fewer ‘intrusion errors’ in memory tasks and reported fewer depressive symptoms after 12 weeks. Krikorian attributes these benefits to the anti-inflammatory properties of anthocyanins in strawberries.
Strawberries, rich in polyphenols, also provide essential nutrients like vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber, phytosterols, and polyphenols.
Chris Christian, senior vice president at the California Strawberry Commission, highlights the established link between strawberry consumption and brain health. He references studies demonstrating strawberries’ role in reducing Alzheimer’s risk and cognitive decline.
For more insights on strawberry research, the California Strawberry Commission suggests their Health Research Round-Up.