Cancer research and organic food


Cancer research on anthocyanins is the most advanced, where black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) preparations were first used to inhibit chemically induced cancer of the rat esophagus by 30-60% and of the colon by up to 80%.[38][43] Effective at both the initiation and promotion/progression stages of tumor development, black raspberries are a practical research tool and a promising therapeutic source, as they contain the richest contents of anthocyanins among native North American Rubus berries.[7]

Work on laboratory cancer models has shown black raspberry anthocyanins inhibit promotion and progression of tumor cells by:

  1. stalling growth of premalignant cells
  2. accelerating the rate of cell turnover, apoptosis, effectively making the cancer cells die faster
  3. reducing inflammatory mediators that initiate tumor onset
  4. inhibiting growth of new blood vessels that nourish tumors, a process called angiogenesis
  5. minimizing cancer-induced DNA damage

On a molecular level, berry anthocyanins were shown to turn off genes involved with tumor proliferation, inflammation and angiogenesis,[44][45][46] while switching on apoptosis.[47][48]

In 2007, studies entered the next pivotal level of research – the human clinical trial – for which several approved studies are underway to examine anticancer effects of black raspberries and cranberries on tumors in the esophagus, prostate and colon.[49]


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