Published on 23rd August 2018


Eating strawberries could help alleviate the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – at least in mice; that’s according to researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA. 

Dr Hang Xiao and his research team found that, in mice with IBD, whole strawberries, given at a dose equivalent to as low as three-quarters of a cup of strawberries per day in humans, significantly suppressed symptoms such as weight-loss and bloody diarrhoea, and reduced colonic inflammation. [1] Feeding whole strawberries also had a beneficial effect on the mice’s microbiota [gut bacteria].

IBD includes both Crohn's disease, which can infect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, and ulcerative colitis, which is characterised by inflammation of the colon and rectum. According to the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK, IBD affects more than 300,000 people in the UK and can cause stigma, fear and isolation. Symptoms include diarrhoea, cramping, fatigue, weight-loss and anaemia.

In this study, the researchers used four groups of mice: a group of healthy mice consuming a regular diet, and three groups of mice with IBD consuming a regular diet, a diet with 2.5 per cent whole strawberry powder, or a diet with five per cent whole strawberry powder. These amounts were consistent with what humans could reasonably consume.

Although these findings were positive, the researchers warned that people with IBD should not change their diet without consulting a medical professional. They will now try to validate their findings in IBD patients.

This research was presented at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).


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    1. American Chemical Society. Strawberries could help reduce harmful inflammation in the colon. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2018.