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Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Feb;105(2):313-322. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.141804. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Incorporating freeze-dried strawberry powder into a high-fat meal does not alter postprandial vascular function or blood markers of cardiovascular disease risk: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences.
Department of Mathematics, Lafayette College, Easton, PA.
Department of Food Science, and.
Department of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA; and.
Department of Nutritional Sciences,



Postprandial dysmetabolism-an exaggerated spike in triglycerides, glucose, and insulin-increases cardiovascular disease risk by inducing oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction. Polyphenol-rich foods may blunt these effects when they are incorporated into a high-fat, calorie-dense meal. Strawberries are a rich source of polyphenols, but there is little research on their postprandial effects.


This study was designed to investigate the effect of adding 40 g freeze-dried strawberry powder (∼1 lb. or 0.45 kg fresh strawberries) to a high-fat (50 g total fat) meal on postprandial vascular function, as well as triglyceride, glucose, and insulin responses.


Healthy, overweight or obese [mean ± SEM body mass index (in kg/m2): 31 ± 0.5] adults (mean ± SEM age: 28 ± 2 y; 17 men and 13 women) consumed a control meal and a strawberry meal in a randomized crossover design. Testing sessions were separated by ≥1 wk for men and ∼1 mo for women to control for hormonal variations. Blood samples were obtained before the meal and 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 h after the meal. Central blood pressure and arterial stiffness indexes were measured at baseline and 2 and 4 h postmeal with the use of pulse waveform analysis.


There were no significant differences between the strawberry and control meals for any outcomes. Consumption of either meal significantly decreased the augmentation index at 2 and 4 h (P < 0.002) and significantly increased triglycerides, insulin, and glucose at all time points (P < 0.001) relative to baseline.


The strawberry intervention did not alter vascular function or attenuate postprandial metabolic derangements in triglycerides, glucose, or insulin relative to the control meal. Additional research is needed to clarify whether strawberries or other polyphenol-rich interventions improve postprandial responses, and future studies should take into account the acute meal-induced improvements in measures of vascular function. This trial was registered at as NCT01989637.


augmentation index; cardiovascular disease; hyperlipidemia; phytochemicals; postprandial dysmetabolism

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