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Adding Stawberries to Diet Found to Decrease Gut Inflammation

Using a mouse model for IBD:


From the article:
"The researchers found that dietary consumption of whole strawberries at a dose equivalent to as low as three-quarters of a cup of strawberries per day in humans significantly suppressed symptoms like body weight loss and bloody diarrhea in mice with IBD. Strawberry treatments also diminished inflammatory responses in the mice’s colonic tissue.

But decreased inflammation wasn’t the strawberry’s only conferred benefit during this study. Colonic inflammation adversely impacts the composition of microbiota in the gut. With IBD, the abundance of harmful bacteria increases, while levels of beneficial bacteria decrease in the colon. Following the dietary treatments of whole strawberries, the researchers observed a reversal of that unhealthy microbiota composition in the IBD mice. Xiao’s team also obtained experimental data that indicated strawberries might impact abnormal metabolic pathways in the IBD mice, which in turn could lead to the decreased colonic inflammation they observed."

Lady Organic

Staff member
THanks. I'll make an effort to eat more strawberries. What's interesting is that they are easily found, even organic, all year long frozen at the grocery store.
BTW, conventional agriculture strawberry is one of the fruits that would contain some of the highest amount of pesticides residues inside. I learned as well that strawberries grow very close to the ground as opposed to other berries and because of that they would need more pesticides.
I love strawberrys but am having trouble with anything with seeds, so I avoid them. Perhaps strawberry jelly would be a substitute, or would the processing reduce its effectiveness?
good question... also what's good for IBD in mouses is good for IBD in humans?..
Well, that' the question for any animal model of any human disease. How closely does the animal model match the human disease, and how similarly do they respond to specific treatments and preventions? Sometimes the animal models are pretty good and sometimes not so much. I can't count the number of times cancer has been cured in mice, but only a small fraction of those cures ever panned out in humans.

The way animal models are best used is not to conclude anything about human disease but to point the way for research in humans. If something works well in an animal model it may well be worth trying to see if it can help humans as well.

A good example of both the strength and weakness of animal models is the whole MAP story. Johne's Disease which is caused in cattle by Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) is an attractive animal model for human Crohn's. And this is why it has generated a lot of interest and research. A fervent minority of doctors and some of their patients are absolutely convinced that Crohn's is basically the same as Johne's disease and is caused by the same MAP organism and can thus be cured by killing off that organism. But years of human research have produced spotty results at best. While it's apparent that MAP may play a role in some cases of human Crohn's, it also clear that it isn't the whole story, and in some cases MAP is apparently not involved at all. Thus, like most other animal models, Johne's disease is an imperfect model of human disease.

So getting back to strawberries, what this research means is that it might be worth trying a human study to see if adding some measured quantities of strawberries or not to the diets of a chosen group of Crohn's patients who can tolerate them can provide any benefit. And since strawberries are normally a safe and nutritious food that most people enjoy, there is probably very little risk in Crohn's patients trying a little uncontrolled experiment on their own if they are so inclined.
I admit that I am rather sceptical about this study. Food reactions differ from person to person regardless of whether one has an IBD or not. As an individual with Crohn’s, I have tried various claims of dietary change which claim success and have experienced a poor to acute reaction to said dietary changes. Like our reactions to food, each every person who is affected by these diseases reacts differently. So far my only positive food outcome, meaning a good wholesome raw food source has been the consumption of almonds. I had started consuming them originally as a benefit for my heart. I had a valve replacement for my aortic valve as a congenital condition had caught up with me. Once I had learned about diet and it’s effects on my heart health, post operative, I soon learned what I had to avoid or to consistently eat to control my INR. Ironically, a study had recently came out regarding the benefit of consuming almonds for controlling bowel disease, specifically Crohn’s. This works for me especially since my resection in 2008, but I must stress that since that operation my use of anti-inflammatory drugs is nil. I now only use generic loperamide and Imodium Advanced as needed. Being in partial remission obviously helps, but so too has the almond consumption. This works for me, but it may not work for you. I modestly consume strawberries, because quite frankly it is their handling which makes them a riskier choice. Use of pesticides, improper washing and processing, and unless I personally clean them I tend to avoid them because the latter risk of c.difficle contamination that is hard on a healthy individual never mind a person with a IBD. Even organic berries are a riskier proposition because the rules on organic growing varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Regarding cleanliness of berries, I soak all vegetables and fruit for some time in salty water before washing and either eating or storing. I am very wary of infection like all of us. I also only buy organic anything as far as I can because of the pesticides. I have stopped bread and eat berries and yoghurt every day and have seen an immediate and significant change for the better- for now. However obviously, as pp said, what works for one- works for one! And who knows how long for too!