Strawberry extract protects stomach lining from alcohol damage: Rat study

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Polyphenols found in strawberries could play a role in reducing the harm alcohol inflicts to the stomach lining, according to new research in rats.

Published in the open access journal Plos One​, a team of European researchers said the study may contribute to improving treatment and prevention of stomach ulcers. The team of Italian, Serbian and Spanish researchers confirmed the protective effect that strawberries have in a mammal stomach that has been damaged by alcohol.

“Strawberry extracts show an important gastroprotective effect against ethanol-induced gastric damage, probably related to their anthocyanin content and their ability to maintain the cell membrane integrity, reduce the free radical-dependent lipid peroxidation and preserve and/or activate endogenous antioxidant enzymes (SOD and Cat),” ​wrote the researchers, led by Maurizio Battino, at the Marche Polytechnic University, Italy.

"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,"​ added Sara Tulipani, researcher at the University of Barcelona and co-author of the study.

The authors said the potential of strawberry extracts could also be considered for the prevention and possible treatment of chronic and subacute injuries to the stomach.

Study details

The team gave ethanol (ethyl alcohol) to lab rats, showing that the stomach mucous membrane of those that had previously eaten strawberry extract suffered less damage. They found less ulcerations in the stomachs of those rats which had eaten 40 milligrams per day per kilo of weight of strawberry extract for 10 days before being given alcohol.

“A significant correlation between total anthocyanin content and percent of inhibition of ulcer index was also found,”​ reported the authors.

Battino suggested: "The consumption of strawberries during or after pathology could lessen stomach mucous membrane damage."

He emphasised that the 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."

Source: PLoS One
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025878
“Strawberry Polyphenols Attenuate Ethanol-Induced Gastric Lesions in Rats by Activation of Antioxidant Enzymes and Attenuation of MDA Increase”
Authors: J.M. Alvarez-Suarez, D. Dekanski, S. Ristić, N.V. Radonjić et al

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