RSSBerries better than ibuprofen?

Posted on Mon, 23 Oct 17

Berries better than ibuprofen?

Strawberries have been shown to significantly decrease pain in people with arthritis, suggesting that they could be an effective and safer alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs.  

Osteoarthritis is a chronic, painful condition affecting millions of people. Conventional therapies include anti-inflammatory drugs, but these have important side-effects [1]. While glucosamine sulfate only has modest pain-relieving effects [2]. 

A simple dietary approach has been found not only to relieve pain, but to reduce the underlying disease activity in people with osteoarthritis: eating berries. 

Over a 12-week period adults with osteoarthritis consumed 50 g of freeze-dried strawberry powder reconstituted in water twice a day (equivalent to approximately 500 g of fresh strawberries daily) and were assessed for pain, markers of inflammation, and quality of life indicators.

Eating berries had a remarkable effect; measures of constant, intermittent, and total pain were significantly reduced, there was an improvement in disability and overall health scores, and biomarkers of inflammation and cartilage degradation (interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3) were also significantly lower after eating strawberries. 

“…our pilot study provides evidence on the role of strawberry bioactive compounds, as a rich source of polyphenols and nutrients, in improving pain and inflammation in obese adults with mild-to-moderate knee osteoarthritis when compared to a control group,” concluded the study investigators.

“Given the economic burden of obesity and related conditions, including knee osteoarthritis, our study suggests that simple dietary intervention, i.e., the addition of berries, may have a significant impact on pain, inflammation, and overall quality of life in obese adults with osteoarthritis.” 


  1. Patrono C, Baigent C. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the heart. Circulation. 2014 Feb 25;129(8):907-16.
  2. Bruyère O, Altman RD, Reginster JY. Efficacy and safety of glucosamine sulfate in the management of osteoarthritis: Evidence from real-life setting trials and surveys. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2016 Feb;45(4 Suppl):S12-7.
  3. Schell J, Scofield RH, Barrett JR, Kurien BT, Betts N, Lyons TJ, Zhao YD, Basu A. Strawberries Improve Pain and Inflammation in Obese Adults with Radiographic Evidence of Knee Osteoarthritis. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 28;9(9).

Tags: Berries, Pain, Inflammation

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