“If you’re having a pretty hearty lunch but you eat strawberries with that, it helps mitigate unfavorable responses.”
Shukitt-Hale is exploring whether strawberries can help offset aging’s toll on cognitive and motor functions.
Several years ago, a study showed rats eating a 2% strawberry diet had better memory and motor functions than those that didn’t.
“The next step is, ‘Does it help humans?’” Shukitt-Hale said.
In the next few months, her facility will try to answer that with a study of 40 people ages 55-70. A special treadmill will measure variations in their step. Older people tend to vary more. Half will have strawberries in their diet.
“From there we would do a bigger study if we got good results,” Shukitt-Hale said.
“The commission is a full funder.”