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To review and update the current knowledge on the potential impact of strawberry on human health, with particular attention on compounds and indirect mechanisms of action not exhaustively considered.
Personal perspectives and recent data.
Our research group was among the few groups that have recently investigated the folate content in fresh, stored and processed strawberries, and the data look very promising. As well, some in vivo evidence of the impact of strawberry intake on the folate status in humans have already been reported, but a new increasing interest on this field is strongly hoped. Furthermore, the hypouricaemic effects previously ascribed to cherry consumption need to be evaluated in respect to strawberry intake. At the moment, inconsistent results come from the few investigations designed at this proposal. In our studies, a great interindividual variability was observed on plasma urate levels in response to strawberry intake, suggesting a putative effect.
The mechanisms responsible for the potential health-promoting effects of strawberry may not be necessarily searched in the activity of phytochemicals. Particularly, a greater interest should be addressed to show whether a prolonged strawberry consumption may effectively improve the folate status and reduce the incidence of folate-related pathological conditions. Furthermore, the hypouricaemic effects of cherries need to be evaluated also in respect to strawberry intake, and the mechanisms of actions and anti-gout potentialities need to be studied in detail.
Future investigations involving human trials should be aimed at following these underestimated scientific tracks.
To review and update the most relevant research dealing with the antioxidant properties of fruits which can be useful in Mediterranean and other healthy diets.
Personal perspectives and late data.
The evaluation of total antioxidant capacity of fruits is of pivotal importance in assessing the nutritional attributes of these products. By means of specific breeding programmes, it is possible to select antioxidant-enriched fruit varieties. These features are susceptible to be improved through generations in order to release fruits with enhanced nutritional features.
The availability of high quality and nutritionally enriched fruit at competitive costs may be a useful tool in the planning of healthy diets.
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