by: Michelle Bosmier
(NaturalNews) A team of European researchers has proven that eating strawberries will protect the stomach lining from damage caused by ethyl alcohol. "A diet rich in strawberries might exert a beneficial effect in the prevention of gastric diseases related to generation of reactive oxygen species", the scientists conclude in the report.
Grape Seed Extract
Gastritis is an illness of the digestive system that occurs when the protective coating of the stomach becomes inflamed. This condition can be caused by alcohol intake, certain commonly used drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, bacterial and viral infections, as well as autoimmune disorders or stress.
The experiments were aimed at investigating the effects of the natural substances found in strawberries against ethanol-induced gastric mucosa damage. Researchers tested the ability of these compounds to influence the free radicals present on the stomach's protective layers.
The science team concluded that the substances in these berries can achieve more than their antioxidant role by also boosting the body's own natural defenses against various risk factors. The gastric mucosal barrier, the first line of defense against outside damaging factors, has been strengthened as a direct consequence of ingesting strawberries.
"The positive effects of strawberries are not only linked to their antioxidant capacity and high content of phenolic compounds (anthocyans) but also to the fact that they activate the antioxidant defenses and enzymes of the body", explain the scientists.
The investigations were done "in vivo" by using rats as subjects. Several groups were given a dose of 40 mg of strawberry extracts per kg of body weight, each day, for a period of 10 days. The rats were granted free access to food and water sources during the experiments. The extracts used were obtained from ripe strawberry fruits.
Subsequently, the animals were given ethanol, which usually causes severe gastric damage. Scientists found that less ulcerations appear in the stomach of the rats that had been fed strawberries. This proves that the mammal digestive system is protected from the effects of alcohol through the use of active compounds found in strawberries.
Strawberries fight against many health risks
Free radicals have been identified as one of the main risk factors associated with gastritis as well as other diseases of the digestive tract. According to the scientists, strawberries are among the most important fruits when it comes to fighting this type of inflammation, due to their elevated content of essential nutrients and phytochemicals.
The high content of flavonoids, tannins and phenolic acids is primarily responsible for the immunity boosting abilities of the fruits. These bioactive substances can scavenge active oxygen and prevent the onset of inflammations at a cellular level.
"This study was not conceived as a way of mitigating the effects of getting drunk but rather as a way of discovering molecules in the stomach membrane that protect against the damaging effects of differing agents" says professor Maurizio Battino, coordinator of the research group.
The results obtained in this study can offer new perspectives on the treatment of ulcers and other inflammatory diseases of the stomach. Unlike traditional methods, "the effect of strawberry intake may go further beyond the direct antioxidant effect", explain the scientists. However, strawberries do not suppress natural gastric acid secretion or the body's own antioxidant enzymes.