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Updated 26 February 2013

Strawberry (Fragaria spp.)

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.

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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

Conditions

Uses
disclaimer: 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*

Antioxidant

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

Colorectal cancer prevention

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 against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).

TRADITION

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

disclaimer: The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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

disclaimer: 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

disclaimer: Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. 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.

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).

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disclaimer: Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2011 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions. disclaimer: While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy. disclaimer: 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.

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



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