Strawberries can save your stomach from alcohol

Strawberries can activate the body's defences to protect our stomachs from the effects of alcohol. Image: Shutterstock

The compounds in strawberries may be the answer to stomach ulcers.

A team of Italian, Serbian and Spanish scientists has confirmed that strawberries can protect mammalian stomachs that have been damaged by the effects of alcohol. The fruit reduces the alcohol-related damage to the stomach’s membranes and could slow down the formation of gastric lesions (ulcers).

The study, published in the journal Plos One, may contribute to the treatment of stomach ulcers. “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,” said co-author Maurizio Battino, coordinator of the research group at the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.

Gastritis and other inflammations of the mucous membranes of the stomach aren’t just caused by alcohol- they can also be related to viral infections and some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. “In these cases, the consumption of strawberries during or after pathology could lessen stomach mucous membrane damage,” Battino said.

The researchers gave 40 milligrams/day (per kilogram of weight) of strawberry extract to laboratory rats for 10 days, before giving them one millilitre of ethanol (ethyl alcohol). They also gave one millilitre of ethanol to a control group of rats.

One hour after the alcohol was consumed, the scientists examined the stomachs of both groups of rats. They found fewer gastric ulcers in the stomachs of the rats that had eaten the strawberry extract.

According to the study, antioxidant enzyme activity increased significantly after the strawberry extract was ingested. The researchers also found a concomitantly decrease in gastric lipid peroxidation and a significant correlation between total anthocyanin content and percent of inhibition of ulcer index.

“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 defences and enzymes of the body,” co-author Sara Tulipani from the University of Barcelona, Spain, said.

The study concluded that a strawberry-rich diet could have a beneficial effect in the prevention of gastric diseases that are related to generation of reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals.

Source: Eureka Alert!

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  1. It says to eat 40mg of Strawberry Extract per kg of body weight. At 80kg that’d be 3.2 grammes of strawberries a day which seems very small? Or is strawberry extract different to actual strawberries you’d buy in a punnet? And if so is there some way to convert?

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