European researchers made the vital discovery that strawberries may help prevent stomach ulcers caused from drinking too much alcohol, thanks to their antioxidant qualities. Of course, an easier way to keep your stomach lining in one piece is to simply drink in moderation and eat a healthy diet. But then, the study was conducted under under a research grant from EUBerry Project, which probably has a more vested interest in the former solution.
The study authors apparently examined the effects of strawberry- and alcohol-rich diets on the stomachs of lab rats (mimicking a Spring Break strawberry margarita-binge in Mexico, perhaps?). Their abstract concludes:
Strawberry extracts prevented exogenous ethanol-induced damage to rats’ gastric mucosa. These effects seem to be associated with the antioxidant activity and phenolic content in the extract as well as with the capacity of promoting the action of antioxidant enzymes. A diet rich in strawberries might exert a beneficial effect in the prevention of gastric diseases related to generation of reactive oxygen species.
In layman’s terms, strawberry extracts prevented damage to the stomach lining normally caused by high alcohol consumption.
The study would be funny, except that a) a bunch of resources (including lab rats) were used to verify a pretty useless bit of information, and b) the world has some serious health problems that could use the smarts and funding that go to studies like this. Not to mention that this just puts more misinformation about health out there.
So for the record: Drink moderately. Don’t consider strawberry margaritas a preventative medicine. And do think twice before you take the advice of every study.