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Strawberry Consumption Associated with C-Reactive Protein Among Women: New Harvard Study
Date:10/2/2007

Women's Health Study Reveals that Strawberries May Help Reduce Risk of

Having Elevated Inflammation in Blood Vessels

WATSONVILLE, Calif., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Strawberries are not only delicious and nutrient-rich, new research from Harvard Medical School found that they may offer cardiovascular disease protection. The new study found that those who reported eating the most strawberries experienced lower blood levels of C-reactive protein, a biomarker for inflammation in the blood vessels.

Howard Sesso, ScD and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health reported their findings in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Using dietary intake records of approximately 27,000 of the women who participated in the decade-long Women's Health Study, Sesso looked at levels of strawberry consumption and several risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The findings revealed that women who ate the most strawberries -- two or more servings per week -- compared to those who reported eating none in the past month, were 14 percent less likely to have elevated C-reactive protein levels.

C-reactive protein or CRP is a blood biomarker that signals the presence of inflammation in the body. Elevated levels of CRP have been shown in multiple studies to be a potentially good predictor of risk for both heart disease and stroke, as it is generally a signal of atherosclerosis. As a result, The Centers for Disease Control and American Heart Association have established guidelines suggesting that blood levels of CRP higher than 3 mg/L may be important in the risk stratification and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers found that those women who had higher strawberry intakes were also more likely to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle. On average, women in the highest strawberry intake group ate about twice as many servings of fruits and vegetables every day as did women in the lowest intake group. Not
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SOURCE California Strawberry Commission
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