The Secret Superpower of Strawberries
Perhaps the most underrated berry of all, strawberries often take a back seat to acai berries, blueberries, and raspberries. While these other berries offer great health benefits, it's important that we don't neglect strawberries and miss out on their potential anti-aging and gut health promoting effects.
There are over 350 naturally occurring chemicals in strawberries. Of these 350+ chemicals, one of them is standing out above the rest for its various health benefits. This chemical, called fisetin, is a flavonoid compound that has been shown to exhibit cardiac protective, anti-cancer, and anti-aging effects according to several new scientific studies.
Here are three of the significant benefits of fisetin according to the research:
1) Gut Health
While strawberries aren't typically looked at as a food that has tremendous gut health benefits, new research is beginning to unveil the potential gut-brain connection supportive effects of fisetin.
One study published in the Frontiers in Neuroscience in 2020 examined the impact that fisetin had on gut microbiota and how it relates to neurological health. The researchers found that fisetin was able to alter the gut microbiota, thereby resulting in a protective effect against neurodegeneration.
The researchers concluded that fisetin may prove to be an effective therapeutic in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
The field of anti-aging is booming, with estimates predicting $88 billion dollars in sales in the field globally by the year 2026. For years, the anti-aging product market was flooded with products that are meant to be rubbed onto the skin such as lotions, creams, and serums. As the scientific community's understanding of skin health and aging evolves, nutraceutical supplement products are gaining traction as options to slow the cellular aging process.
As the focus shifts toward using eating a healthful diet and utilizing nutraceuticals intelligently to slow aging, new research is continuously being conducted to determine which nutrients are most effective as anti-aging agents.
Research published in 2018 in the EBioMedicine journal aimed to identify which flavonoids exhibit the largest anti-aging effects.
Of the 10 different flavonoid compounds that were tested including quercetin, curcumin, resveratrol, and fisetin, the researchers found that fisiten extended lifespan and healthspan most effectively.
Chronic inflammation is prevalent in many of the most common diseases including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. While there are various causes for chronic inflammation, diet and lifestyle play a major role in both causing and reversing chronic inflammation.
As such, various foods and nutraceuticals have gone under stringent scientific research to determine which, if any, foods and nutraceutical supplements are most effective for combating inflammation.
Some of the most commonly researched supplements that have shown promise in reducing inflammation are curcumin (turmeric extract), boswelia, and ginger. Recent research is screening various flavonoid compounds like quercetin, rutin, and fisetin to assess their potential effect as anti-inflammatory agents.
Research published in March of 2021 in the Food and Nutrition Research journal found that fisetin "inhibits inflammation" by diminishing the expression of inflammatory cytokines.
The researchers also found that fisetin was able to enhance autophagy, a process that involves "recycling" damaged cells, thereby reducing the risk for various diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Fisetin may offer powerful anti-aging, gut health, and anti-inflammatory effects. While fisetin is found in the highest concentration in strawberries, the doses of fistetin used in the studies referenced above are much higher than you would get in a standard diet, so fisetin supplementation may be necessary to achieve similar results.
If you're looking for a diverse blend of different flavonoids including fisetin, try this phytonutrient powder which contains strawberry powder and apple powder (both are rich in fisetin).
Chen TJ, Feng Y, Liu T, et al. Fisetin Regulates Gut Microbiota and Exerts Neuroprotective Effect on Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease. Front Neurosci. 2020;14:549037. Published 2020 Dec 14. doi:10.3389/fnins.2020.549037
Yousefzadeh MJ, Zhu Y, McGowan SJ, et al. Fisetin is a senotherapeutic that extends health and lifespan. EBioMedicine. 2018;36:18-28. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.09.015