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Strawberry (Fragaria spp.)

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Also listed as: Fragaria
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Allstar, Annapolis, Earliglow, Evangeline, Fragaria chiloensis ssp. Chiloensis, Fragaria x ananassa Duch., Fragaria x ananassa Duchesne, garden strawberry, Jewel, Mesabi, Rosaceae (family), Sable, Sparkle, woodland strawberry.

Background
  • Strawberry (Fragaria spp.) is predominantly known for its bright red, edible fruit covered in small seeds. The fruit is fragrant, and high in fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and antioxidants. Retrospective, epidemiological studies indicate that strawberry ingestion may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Preliminary research also indicates that strawberry may be useful as an anti-inflammatory and may help enhance iron absorption. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
  • Strawberry represents a valuable contrasting source of potentially healthy compounds and can represent an important component of a balanced diet if not allergic.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Laboratory studies suggest that strawberry has antioxidant properties. However, the effect in humans is unclear. Further study is needed to define strawberry's effectiveness in humans.

B


Strawberry and other fruits may reduce the risk of adenoma (noncancerous tumor) with mild dysplasia (abnormal growths) in women. However, additional studies are needed to determine strawberry's effects on cancer risk.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Anti-aging, iron absorption enhancement, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant ("blood-thinner"), cancer, cancer (antiangiogenesis, destruction blood vessels), food uses, leukemia, malnutrition, scurvy (vitamin C deficiency).

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older):

  • There is no proven effective dose for strawberry.

Children (younger than 18 years):

  • There is no proven effective dose for strawberry in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to strawberry (Fragaria spp.) or its constituents. Hypersensitivity to strawberry is fairly common, especially among children, although there are only a few cases of patients with adverse reactions to strawberry listed in the currently available literature, compared to other Rosaceae fruit. There is some evidence that some proteins in strawberries are homologues for birch pollen and stone and pome fruit allergens, which may explain the prevalence of strawberry sensitivity. There also seems to be a connection between acetylsalicylic acid intolerance and strawberry sensitivity.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Strawberries are likely safe when used in food amounts in healthy patients. Strawberry extract, or very large amounts of strawberries may be unsafe if consumed by pregnant patients, due to insufficient available evidence. In sensitive subjects, strawberry has caused contact urticaria (hives) and pruritic dermatoses (eczema and neurodermite). Strawberries, especially fresh ones, may be contaminated with bacteria, pesticides, or fungi, and should be thoroughly washed before consuming.
  • Use cautiously in patients with hematological (blood) disorders or in patients taking anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents (blood thinners).
  • Use cautiously in patients with iron-absorption disorders.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Based on traditional use as a food, the food amounts seem safe. Larger amounts and strawberry extract are not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Individual compounds in strawberries have demonstrated anticancer activity in several different studies. Caution is advised when taking strawberry with anticancer agents.
  • Strawberry may have blood-thinning properties. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
  • Strawberry may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Caution is advised when taking strawberry with agents with similar effects.
  • Although not well studied in humans, strawberry extract may interfere with gastrointestinal absorption of drugs taken by mouth. Strawberry (Fragaria spp.) may have a mild to moderate enhancing effect on iron absorption.
  • Based on tests performed in allergic patients, there may be a connection between acetylsalicylic acid intolerance and strawberry sensitivity.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Individual compounds in strawberries have demonstrated anticancer activity in several different studies. Caution is advised when taking strawberry with herbs and supplements with anticancer effects.
  • Strawberry may have blood-thinning properties. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking herbs or supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto.
  • Strawberry may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Caution is advised when taking strawberry with herbs and supplements with these properties.
  • Although not well studied in humans, strawberry extract may interfere with gastrointestinal absorption of herbs and supplements taken by mouth. Strawberry (Fragaria spp.) may have a mild to moderate enhancing effect on iron absorption.
  • Based on tests performed in allergic patients, there may be a connection between acetylsalicylic acid intolerance and strawberry sensitivity.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Beekwilder J, Hall RD, de Vos CH. Identification and dietary relevance of antioxidants from raspberry. Biofactors 2005;23(4):197-205.
  2. Cheel J, Theoduloz C, Rodriguez J, et al. E-cinnamic acid derivatives and phenolics from Chilean strawberry fruits, Fragaria chiloensis ssp. chiloensis. J Agric Food Chem 11-2-2005;53(22):8512-8518.
  3. Kenney SJ, Anderson GL, Williams PL, et al. Migration of Caenorhabditis elegans to manure and manure compost and potential for transport of Salmonella newport to fruits and vegetables. Int J Food Microbiol 1-15-2006;106(1):61-68.
  4. Kuriyama S, Ebihara S, Hozawa A, et al. Dietary intakes and plasma 8-iso-prostaglandin F2alpha concentrations in community-dwelling elderly Japanese: the Tsurugaya project. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2006;76(2):87-94.
  5. Marzban G, Mansfeld A, Hemmer W, et al. Fruit cross-reactive allergens: a theme of uprising interest for consumers' health. Biofactors 2005;23(4):235-241.
  6. Naemura A, Mitani T, Ijiri Y, et al. Anti-thrombotic effect of strawberries. Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis 2005;16(7):501-509.
  7. Olsson ME, Andersson CS, Oredsson S, et al. Antioxidant levels and inhibition of cancer cell proliferation in vitro by extracts from organically and conventionally cultivated strawberries. J Agric Food Chem 2-22-2006;54(4):1248-1255.
  8. Pajk T, Rezar V, Levart A, et al. Efficiency of apples, strawberries, and tomatoes for reduction of oxidative stress in pigs as a model for humans. Nutrition 2006;22(4):376-384.
  9. Ramos S, Alia M, Bravo L, et al. Comparative effects of food-derived polyphenols on the viability and apoptosis of a human hepatoma cell line (HepG2). J Agric Food Chem 2-23-2005;53(4):1271-1280.
  10. Riccio R, Trevisan M, Capri E. Effect of surface waxes on the persistence of chlorpyrifos-methyl in apples, strawberries and grapefruits. Food Addit Contam 2006;23(7):683-692.
  11. Skupien K, Oszmianski J, Kostrzewa-Nowak D, et al. In vitro antileukaemic activity of extracts from berry plant leaves against sensitive and multidrug resistant HL60 cells. Cancer Lett 5-18-2006;236(2):282-291.
  12. Tournas VH, Katsoudas E. Mould and yeast flora in fresh berries, grapes and citrus fruits. Int J Food Microbiol 11-15-2005;105(1):11-17.
  13. Tournas VH, Heeres J, Burgess L. Moulds and yeasts in fruit salads and fruit juices. Food Microbiol 2006;23(7):684-688.
  14. Wang SY, Feng R, Lu Y, et al. Inhibitory effect on activator protein-1, nuclear factor-kappaB, and cell transformation by extracts of strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.). J Agric Food Chem 5-18-2005;53(10):4187-4193.
  15. Zuidmeer L, Salentijn E, Rivas MF, et al. The role of profilin and lipid transfer protein in strawberry allergy in the Mediterranean area. Clin Exp Allergy 2006;36(5):666-675.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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