Berries, cancer AND BENEFITS
Consumption of berries has been implicated with diverse health benefits. Berries
contain a diverse range of phytochemicals with biological properties such as
antioxidant, anticancer, anti-neurodegerative, and anti-inflammatory activities [3]

The major classes of berry phenolics were anthocyanins, flavonols, flavanols,
ellagitannins, gallotannins, proanthocyanidins, and phenolic acids. [3]

Some berry constituents have been proven to have cancer preventive actions on
chemically induced tumors in vivo and cancer suppressive effects in in vitro
studies. Many of these effects were attributed to certain berry phytochemicals
with high antioxidative potential that could contribute to, or enhance by induction,
the endogenous antioxidant properties of living cells or organisms. [1]

Researchers from University of Kuopio, Finland, compared the effects of berry
extracts containing different phenolic profiles on cell viability and expression of
markers of cell proliferation and apoptosis in human colon cancer HT-29 cells.
They found that the degree of cell growth inhibition was as follows: bilberry >
black currant > cloudberry > lingonberry > raspberry > strawberry. In the study,
Cloudberry, despite its very low anthocyanin content, was a potent inhibitor of cell
proliferation. [2]

On the other hand, Seeram NP co-workers from UCLA showed Black raspberry
and strawberry extracts showed the most significant pro-apoptotic effects
against cell line of HT-29 (a colon tumor). Anyway, all extracts (blackberry, black
raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry and strawberry) in their study
showed ability to inhibit the growth of human oral (KB, CAL-27), breast (MCF-7),
colon (HT-29, HCT116), and prostate (LNCaP) tumor cell lines at concentrations
ranging from 25 to 200 micro g/mL. With increasing concentration of berry
extract, increasing inhibition of cell proliferation in all of the cell lines were
observed, with different degrees of potency between cell lines. Does this mean
intake more of berries can boost their anti-cancer effects?



[1] Juranic Z et al, Biological activities of berries: from antioxidant capacity to
anti-cancer effects. Biofactors. 2005;23(4):207-11. Review. [2] Lotito SB et al,
Consumption of flavonoid-rich foods and increased plasma antioxidant capacity
in humans: cause, consequence, or epiphenomenon? Free Radic Biol Med.
2006 Dec 15;41(12):1727-46. Epub 2006 Jun 3. [3] Seeram NP et al,
Blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, and strawberry
extracts inhibit growth and stimulate apoptosis of human cancer cells in vitro. J
Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 13;54(25):9329-39.