Ascorbate, not urate, modulates the plasma antioxidant capacity after strawberry intake

Sara Tulipani, Stefania Romandini, Franco Busco, Stefano Bompadre, Bruno Mezzetti, Maurizio Battino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The consumption of antioxidant-rich foods has already been associated with acute significant increases in plasma total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in humans, but there is no consensus among different literature reports. Furthermore, the acute rise in plasma TAC observed after consumption of several non-berry fruits seems not to be necessarily related to the absorption of dietary antioxidants, such as micronutrients and phenolic substances, but is attributed to the relevant increase of endogenous urate in serum. In this study, we first compared the nutritional quality of strawberry fruits from different genotypes, all cultivated in the same experimental field. Significant genotype-to-genotype differences were observed in the antioxidant capacity and in the vitamin C, folate and phenolic contents of the fruits. Second, in order to investigate the individual effects of the selected strawberry genotypes on the post-prandial plasma antioxidant status in humans, we assessed the acute effects of a single dose of strawberries in healthy subjects. The variation of plasma TAC through the FRAP and TEAC assays, and any eventual changes in ascorbate and urate levels in serum, were measured during the three hours following the strawberry intake. The acute intake of strawberries resulted in a significant increase in plasma FRAP values in all the subjects, independently of the individual TAC baseline levels. Interestingly, the lowest increases in plasma TAC and in serum ascorbate levels were associated with consumption of the nutritionally-poorest cultivars. In addition, significant increases in ascorbate, but not in urate, concentrations were observed in serum. These findings suggested that the fructose-dependent hyperuremic effect, observed after the intake of non-berry fruits, is not responsible for the plasma antioxidant changes following strawberry consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2009


  • Ascorbate
  • Human acute consumption
  • Plasma antioxidant capacity
  • Strawberry
  • Urate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Analytical Chemistry

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