Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist strawberriesUltimate Protector™ contains freeze dried strawberries, as well as components from 29 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article I explore the ingredient strawberries, which is a component of VitaBerry Plus® from Futureceuticals.


VitaBerry® (N1023) is the trade name for a line of high ORAC blends of fruit powders and fruit extracts, exclusively available through FutureCeuticals.

VitaBerry® is a proprietary formula that combines wild bilberry and wild blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, prune, cherry, and grape whole powders and extracts into lines of custom blends. High in fruit polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, chlorogenic acid, resveratrol, and quinic acid, VitaBerry offers 6,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

VitaBerry® Plus (N81.3) combines the standard blend of VitaBerry® with resveratrol and quercetin to deliver a minimum of 12,000 ORAC units per gram.

Strawberry strawberries


Strawberries long have grown wild in the world’s temperate regions. They have been cultivated for several thousand years and were prized among the ancient Romans. Most of the common varieties of strawberry derive from a hybrid (Frangaria x ananassa). Strawberries have an ORAC value of 1,540, which is very high among the fruits and vegetables tested by the USDA. They are a good source of vitamins C, K, B2, B5, B6, and folate. They also contain appreciable amounts of the minerals manganese, iodine, and potassium, as well as dietary fiber.

Like other berries, the antioxidants contained in strawberries may be useful against diseases of the heart and arteries by preventing the oxidation of lipids. The phytonutrient phenols most abundant in strawberries are anthocyanins and ellagitannins. The anthocyanins help to prevent oxidative damage from free radicals in body. The unique phenol profile of the strawberry enables it not only to protect the heart, but also to fight inflammation. Studies have shown that strawberries also protect the brain from oxidative stress and may therefore reduce age-related cognitive decline in brain function. Strawberries have been shown to be Nrf2 activators that can stimulate the endogenous production of protective enzymes in the body.

Here is a list of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in found in strawberries.

  • Anthocyanins
    • cyanidins
    • pelargonidins
  • Flavonols
    • procyanidins
    • catechins
    • gallocatechins
    • epicatechins
    • kaempferol
    • quercetin
  • Hydroxy-benzoic acids
    • ellagic acid
    • gallic acid
    • vanillic acid*
    • salicylic acid
  • Hydroxy-cinnamic acids
    • cinnamic acid
    • coumaric acid
    • caffeic acid
    • ferulic acid
  • Tannins
    • ellagitannins
    • gallotannins
  • Stilbenes
    • resveratrol

For more information on strawberries visit: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=32

Scientific Studies on the Antioxidant Effects of Strawberries

Below, I provide relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of strawberries.

Strawberry as a functional food: an evidence-based review

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24345049


Emerging research provides substantial evidence to classify strawberries as a functional food with several preventive and therapeutic health benefits. Strawberries, a rich source of phytochemicals (ellagic acid, anthocyanins, quercetin, and catechin) and vitamins (ascorbic acid and folic acid), have been highly ranked among dietary sources of polyphenols and antioxidant capacity. It should however be noted that these bioactive factors can be significantly affected by differences in strawberry cultivars, agricultural practices, storage, and processing methods: freezing versus dry heat has been associated with maximum retention of strawberry bioactives in several studies. Nutritional epidemiology shows inverse association between strawberry consumption and incidence of hypertension or serum C-reactive protein; controlled feeding studies have identified the ability of strawberries to attenuate high-fat diet induced postprandial oxidative stress and inflammation, or postprandial hyperglycemia, or hyperlipidemia in subjects with cardiovascular risk factors. Mechanistic studies have elucidated specific biochemical pathways that might confer these protective effects of strawberries: upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity, downregulation of NF-kB activity and subsequent inflammation, or inhibitions of carbohydrate digestive enzymes. These health effects may be attributed to the synergistic effects of nutrients and phytochemicals in strawberries. Further studies are needed to define the optimal dose and duration of strawberry intake in affecting levels of biomarkers or pathways related to chronic diseases.

Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Types of Berries


Berries, especially members of several families, such as Rosaceae (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry), and Ericaceae (blueberry, cranberry), belong to the best dietary sources of bioactive compounds (BAC). They have delicious taste and flavor, have economic importance, and because of the antioxidant properties of BAC, they are of great interest also for nutritionists and food technologists due to the opportunity to use BAC as functional foods ingredients. The bioactive compounds in berries contain mainly phenolic compounds (phenolic acids, flavonoids, such as anthocyanins and flavonols, and tannins) and ascorbic acid. These compounds, either individually or combined, are responsible for various health benefits of berries, such as prevention of inflammation disorders, cardiovascular diseases, or protective effects to lower the risk of various cancers. In this review bioactive compounds of commonly consumed berries are described, as well as the factors influencing their antioxidant capacity and their health benefits.

Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22535616


Objective: Berries are high in flavonoids, especially anthocyanidins, and improve cognition in experimental studies. We prospectively evaluated whether greater long-term intakes of berries and flavonoids are associated with slower rates of cognitive decline in older women.

Methods: Beginning in 1980, a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire was administered every 4 years to Nurses’ Health Study participants. In 1995–2001, we began measuring cognitive function in 16,010 participants, aged ≥70 years; follow-up assessments were conducted twice, at 2-year intervals. To ascertain long-term diet, we averaged dietary variables from 1980 through the initial cognitive interview. Using multivariate-adjusted, mixed linear regression, we estimated mean differences in slopes of cognitive decline by long-term berry and flavonoid intakes.

Results: Greater intakes of blueberries and strawberries were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline (eg, for a global score averaging all 6 cognitive tests, for blueberries: p-trend = 0.014 and mean difference = 0.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.01–0.07, comparing extreme categories of intake; for strawberries: p-trend = 0.022 and mean difference = 0.03, 95% CI = 0.00–0.06, comparing extreme categories of intake), after adjusting for multiple potential confounders. These effect estimates were equivalent to those we found for approximately 1.5 to 2.5 years of age in our cohort, indicating that berry intake appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years. Additionally, in further supporting evidence, greater intakes of anthocyanidins and total flavonoids were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline (p-trends = 0.015 and 0.053, respectively, for the global score).

Interpretation: Higher intake of flavonoids, particularly from berries, appears to reduce rates of cognitive decline in older adults.

Addition of strawberries to the usual diet decreases resting chemiluminescence of fasting blood in healthy subjects-possible health-promoting effect of these fruits consumption

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24912053


OBJECTIVE: Regular strawberry consumption augmented plasma antioxidant activity and decreased lipid peroxidation suggests preventive potential of these fruits against oxidative stress-dependent disorders. Blood phagocytes are important source of oxidants that may contribute to systemic oxidative stress. We examined the effect of strawberry consumption on the luminol enhanced whole blood chemiluminescence (LBCL) reflecting oxidants generation by circulating phagocytes in healthy subjects.

METHODS: Thirty-one healthy subjects (being on their usual diet) consumed 500 g of strawberry pulp daily (between 11.00-14.00) for 30 days (1st strawberry course) and after 10 day wash-out the cycle was repeated (2nd strawberry course). Fasting blood and spot morning urine samples were collected before and after each strawberry course for measuring resting and agonist (fMLP)-induced LBCL, various phenolics and plasma antioxidant activity. Twenty subjects served as a control in respect to LBCL changes over the study period.

RESULTS: Strawberry consumption decreased median resting LBCL and this effect was more evident after the 1st course (by 38.2%, p < 0.05) than after the the 2nd one (18.7%), while fMLP-induced LBCL was constant. No changes in LBCL were noted in controls. Strawberries increased fasting plasma levels of caffeic acid and homovanillic acid as well as urolithin A and 4-hydroxyhippuric acid in spot urine. Plasma antioxidant activity and the number of circulating phagocytes did not change over the study period. Resting LBCL correlated positively with the number of circulating polymorphonuclear leukocytes at all occasions and negative correlation with plasma 4-hydroxyhippuric acid was noted especially after the first strawberry course (r = -0.46, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The decrease in resting LBCL suggests that regular strawberry consumption may suppress baseline formation of oxidants by circulating phagocytes. This may decrease the risk of systemic imbalance between oxidants and anti-oxidants and be one of mechanisms of health-promoting effect of these fruits consumption.

Consumption of strawberries on a daily basis increases the non-urate 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity of fasting plasma in healthy subjects

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25120279


Strawberries contain anthocyanins and ellagitanins which have antioxidant properties. We determined whether the consumption of strawberries increase the plasma antioxidant activity measured as the ability to decompose 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) in healthy subjects. The study involved 10 volunteers (age 41 ± 6 years, body weight 74.4 ± 12.7 kg) that consumed 500 g of strawberries daily for 9 days and 7 matched controls. Fasting plasma and spot morning urine samples were collected at baseline, during fruit consumption and after a 6 day wash-out period. DPPH decomposition was measured in both deproteinized native plasma specimens and pretreated with uricase (non-urate plasma). Twelve phenolics were determined with HPLC. Strawberries had no effect on the antioxidant activity of native plasma and circulating phenolics. Non-urate plasma DPPH decomposition increased from 5.7 ± 0.6% to 6.6 ± 0.6%, 6.5 ± 1.0% and 6.3 ± 1.4% after 3, 6 and 9 days of supplementation, respectively. The wash-out period reversed this activity back to 5.7 ± 0.8% (p<0.01). Control subjects did not reveal any changes of plasma antioxidant activity. Significant increase in urinary urolithin A and 4-hydroxyhippuric (by 8.7- and 5.9-times after 6 days of supplementation with fruits) was noted. Strawberry consumption can increase the non-urate plasma antioxidant activity which, in turn, may decrease the risk of systemic oxidants overactivity.

One-month strawberry-rich anthocyanin supplementation ameliorates cardiovascular risk, oxidative stress markers and platelet activation in humans

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24406274


Strawberries are an important fruit in the Mediterranean diet because of their high content of essential nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals, which seem to exert beneficial effects in human health. Healthy volunteers were supplemented daily with 500 g of strawberries for 1 month. Plasma lipid profile, circulating and cellular markers of antioxidant status, oxidative stress and platelet function were evaluated at baseline, after 30 days of strawberry consumption and 15 days after the end of the study. A high concentration of vitamin C and anthocyanins was found in the fruits. Strawberry consumption beneficially influenced the lipid profile by significantly reducing total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides levels (-8.78%, -13.72% and -20.80%, respectively; P<.05) compared with baseline period, while high-density lipoprotein cholesterol remained unchanged. Strawberry supplementation also significant decreased serum malondialdehyde, urinary 8-OHdG and isoprostanes levels (-31.40%, -29.67%, -27.90%, respectively; P<.05). All the parameters returned to baseline values after the washout period. A significant increase in plasma total antioxidant capacity measured by both ferric reducing ability of plasma and oxygen radical absorbance capacity assays and vitamin C levels (+24.97%, +41.18%, +41.36%, respectively; P<.05) was observed after strawberry consumption. Moreover, the spontaneous and oxidative hemolysis were significant reduced (-31.7% and -39.03%, respectively; P<.05), compared to the baseline point, which remained stable after the washout period. Finally, strawberry intake significant decrease (P<.05) the number of activated platelets, compared to both baseline and washout values. Strawberries consumption improves plasma lipids profile, biomarkers of antioxidant status, antihemolytic defenses and platelet function in healthy subjects, encouraging further evaluation on a population with higher cardiovascular disease risk.

Impact of strawberries on human health: insight into marginally discussed bioactive compounds for the Mediterranean diet


OBJECTIVE: To review and update the current knowledge on the potential impact of strawberry on human health, with particular attention on compounds and indirect mechanisms of action not exhaustively considered.

DESIGN: Personal perspectives and recent data.

SETTING: International.

RESULTS: Our research group was among the few groups that have recently investigated the folate content in fresh, stored and processed strawberries, and the data look very promising. As well, some in vivo evidence of the impact of strawberry intake on the folate status in humans have already been reported, but a new increasing interest on this field is strongly hoped. Furthermore, the hypouricaemic effects previously ascribed to cherry consumption need to be evaluated in respect to strawberry intake. At the moment, inconsistent results come from the few investigations designed at this proposal. In our studies, a great interindividual variability was observed on plasma urate levels in response to strawberry intake, suggesting a putative effect.

CONCLUSIONS: The mechanisms responsible for the potential health-promoting effects of strawberry may not be necessarily searched in the activity of phytochemicals. Particularly, a greater interest should be addressed to show whether a prolonged strawberry consumption may effectively improve the folate status and reduce the incidence of folate-related pathological conditions. Furthermore, the hypouricaemic effects of cherries need to be evaluated also in respect to strawberry intake, and the mechanisms of actions and anti-gout potentialities need to be studied in detail. Future investigations involving human trials should be aimed at following these underestimated scientific tracks.

strawberry strawberries fruit


Strawberries are an important fruit full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector such an outstanding nutritional supplement.


Contact Us:

You can reach HPDI by calling 1-800-228-4265, email support(at)IntegratedHealth.com, or visit the retail website: www.IntegratedHealth.com

Health care professionals and retailers can apply for wholesale account, which includes access to the HPDI reseller website: www.HealthProductsDistributors.com


Report from ACAM 2015 Annual Meeting

Fred Liers PhD ACAM American College for Advancement in Medicine annual meeting 2015In mid-November, I attended the annual meeting of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada where I represented Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI).

This year’s meeting theme was “Integrative Medicine’s New Landscape: Practical Applications of New Technologies.” I went to participate as an ACAM member, and as exhibitor showcasing HPDI products as a silver level ACAM supporter.

I staffed our booth with Robert Simmons who is HPDI’s content curator and digital specialist. We displayed about 100 products, most of which are formulated by our CEO, my father Hank Liers, PhD.

I had the fortune of speaking to doctors, naturopaths, integrative medical specialists, and scientists on a variety of topics, including the need for dietary supplements, the importance of trace minerals, vitamin C, and probiotics. I learned quite a bit from these discussions and interactions.

HPDI booth at ACAM 2015

I staffed HPDI’s booth at ACAM 2015 in Las Vegas.

Doctors and participants at the meeting showed most interest in our Ultimate Protector Nrf2 activator product and Prescript-Assist™ probiotic (soil-based organisms) formula. Also of interest to them were Rejuvenate! superfoods, foundational supplements (multivitamins, essential fats, and vitamin C/antioxidant formulas), and our Warrior Health products (Warrior Mist for pain and Warrior Sleep for rest and relaxation).

In particular, participants were interested in the results of the Brunswick Labs ORAC5.0™ test of Ultimate Protector. View the Certificate of Analysis or visit the Ultimate Protector page. The test results reveal an ORAC5.0 value of 172,965 µmole TE/gram. This translates into a total ORAC5.0 value of more than 486,000 per 2.81 gram serving (i.e., six small capsules).

Although busy staffing the HPDI booth, I took time to attend an excellent presentation on the microbiome by Raphael Kellman, MD. His lecture was informative. He discussed the importance of the microbiome for supporting good health, and positive effects related to maintaining populations of beneficial flora.

Dr. Kellman considered the role of poor diet, antibiotics, stress and other factors in creating an environment less positive for probiotics. For example, a microbiome so imbalanced as to result in a condition of dysbiosis is known to suppress immunity.

Kellman lecture ACAM 2015 microbiome

Dr. Raphael Kellman lectures on the microbiome to ACAM doctors.

Dr. Kellman showed that probiotics not only are beneficial for the microbiome and the body in general, but also how these effects extend into supporting positive emotions.

In this regard, I recently read Dr. David Perlmutter’s Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain—for Life which discusses the importance of a healthy microbiome with a focus on implications for brain health and well-being. Dr. Kellman’s lecture confirmed much of what I learned from Dr. Perlmutter’s book, and gave me new information to consider.

Dr. Kellman presented specific dietary recommendations he suggests to patients for supporting a healthy microbiome. For example, he recommends consuming fermented foods like sauerkraut and kim chee that reinoculate the gut, as well as certain vegetables like onions, asparagus, jicama, and radishes that support the growth of healthy bacteria for a better balanced microbiome.

I was impressed by the volume of scientific studies he cited regarding the beneficial effects of the healthy microbiome (and the adverse effects of an unhealthy one), and by his discussion of clinical applications with respect to practical steps patients can take to support the development and maintenance of a healthy microbiome.

As a representative of a company that sells a superior probiotic formula (Prescript-Assist™), the ramifications of his presentation of the microbiome were clear. Everyone needs a healthy microbiome to thrive. And there are many means, including diet and supplementation with probiotics and prebiotics, that can help ensure the health of an individual’s microbiome.

I also visited exhibitors and vendors in the exhibit hall. Of particular interest were the liposomal formulas offered by Quicksilver Scientific. I tested at least nine of their formulas sublingually and found them both tasty and effective.

Fred Liers Robert Simmons ACAM 2015

Robert (right) and I pose in our booth with Alfredo Salguero (center) of In Light Wellness Systems.

Other highlights from visiting vendors were trying out the PEMF (pulsed electro-magnetic field) unit from Pulse4Life and receiving a Zyto scan from Trayce Waterline of Zyto Corp. A Zyto scan uses galvanic skin response technology and proprietary software that utilizes digital signatures to recommend nutritional supplements that match your biological preference.

I also enjoyed learning about Biomat technology from Owen Cobb of the Biomat Store and lying under LED pads from In Light Wellness Systems.

Robert ACAM 2015

HPDI booth rep Robert scans the preferred partners board at ACAM 2015.

I enjoyed meeting ACAM officers and board members at our booth and in the exhibitor hall, during breakfasts, lecture breaks, and the opening reception.

Finally, one of the best experiences was meeting ACAM management and staff. In particular, I took the opportunity to chat with Veronica Haynes, Brenda Carney, Zach Haynes, and Liz Pullman. Thanks to ACAM for putting on a great meeting.

We at HPDI already look forward to next year’s ACAM 2016 annual meeting, which will be right here in Tucson, Arizona, September 15–18, 2016. The theme of next year’s meeting will be “What’s Next? An Interdisciplinary Approach to Advanced Prevention.”


Additional Resources:

HPDI’s ACAM page provides information about our partnership with ACAM as a preferred partner and silver level supporter for the ACAM 2015 annual meeting.

Contact Us:

You can reach HPDI by calling 1-800-228-4265, email support(at)IntegratedHealth.com, or visit the retail website: www.IntegratedHealth.com

Health care professionals and retailers can apply for wholesale account, which includes access to the HPDI reseller website: www.HealthProductsDistributors.com