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Black Raspberries Shown To Shield Against Cancer, Study Finds

According to new a new study conducted by Ohio State University researchers that was presented at the March 2007 national meeting of the American Chemical Society, black raspberries may be a good choice in preventing the development of tumors in the esophagus and colon.
 
The study, which was led by Gary Stoner, Ph.D., a professor of internal medicine at Ohio State University, involved a powdered, freeze-dried extract from black raspberries that was given to rats that had been exposed to a cancer-causing substance to measure the effect it had them. When compared to a control group, the rats that were fed black raspberry extract showed a 60 percent reduction in tumors of the esophagus. A reduction in colon tumors up to 80 percent was also visible.
 
“That’s a much higher reduction than I thought we’d see,” Stoner said, “This suggests that berries bind up a good portion of free radicals, preventing them from causing damage in the body.”
 
Vitamins A, C, E, folic acid and the minerals selenium, zinc, and calcium can all be found in black raspberries. Aside from that, a higher content of anthocyanins can be found in black rasberries when compared to other berries. The same is true of phenols, such as ellagic, coumaric and ferulic acid. According to Stoner all of these substances are recognized as “chemopreventive agents”.
 
“We do know from epidemiologic studies that vegetable and fruit consumption is protective against cancer and, from our work, we would suggest that berries be one of those helpings, at least two or three times a week,” said Stoner.
 
There are current clinical trials¬†being held to examine the effectiveness of black raspberries on preventing esophageal and colon cancer in humans. The first test involves Stoner and his team analyzing the effects of the fruit in people with Barrett’s esophagus (a condition known as a precursor to esophageal cancer) and precancerous colon polyps. Preliminary results indicate the berries are well tolerated at doses similar to those used in animals.
 
Frank Mangano’s commentary:

Aside from tasting great, black raspberries are jam packed with anthocyanins. These chemicals not only give some fruits their deep, purple color but they are also believed to be one of the active ingredients that can help prevent or slow the growth of some forms of cancer. Many fruits contain anthocyanins including blackberries, blueberries, elderberries, raisins and plums, but black raspberries are by far the best choice for abundance.

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