Not only does fresh fruit taste good, but it contains an array of healthful antioxidants that help to fight disease. In the fruit family, berries stand out for their antioxidant benefits, especially richly colored ones such as blueberries and blackberries. But there’s another berry that packs a powerful punch against disease – the black raspberry. A new study shows this little berry could reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Black Raspberries to Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer?
Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago put black raspberries to the test by giving them to two groups of mice. One group was bred to develop colon cancer, while the other was genetically predisposed to colitis, an inflammatory condition of the colon that increases the risk of colon cancer. The mice ate a typical high-fat diet that was low in nutrition, similar to the diet eaten by many Americans – a perfect diet to promote colon cancer. Some of the mice also received supplemental freeze-dried black raspberry powder for twelve weeks.
The results? After three months of black raspberry supplements and a Western-style diet, the mice bred to develop colon cancer had 60% fewer colon tumors and were 45% less likely to develop colon cancer at all. Good news for these mice – but how do black raspberries exert their anti-cancer effects?
The Secret of the Black Raspberry Fruit
Black raspberries are loaded with anthocyanins – antioxidant compounds that protect the body against developing cell-damaging free radicals. Researchers believe either the anthocyanins, or some other component in black raspberries blocks a protein that allows colon cancer cells to grow. Interestingly, the mice bred to develop colitis that got the black raspberry supplement, also got fewer colon tumors and had less colon inflammation.
Can Black Raspberries Protect Humans Against Colon Cancer?
It’s too early to say, but some studies show that black raspberries have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits that could be beneficial for both mice and humans. How many black raspberries would you need to keep colon cancer at bay? According to this study, you’d need to eat three to four cups of black raspberries a day to get the colon cancer protective benefits experienced by these mice. On the other hand, you don’t necessarily need to overdose on black raspberries to get the benefits. Anthocyanins are also found in foods such as red cabbage, blueberries, grapes, hibiscus, cherries, and elderberries. Eating several servings of these foods each day could serve up some additional colon cancer protection. You can also purchase black raspberry extract online, but who knows what you’re really getting?
Black Raspberries to Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer: The Bottom Line?
Do your colon a favor and eat at a variety of anthocyanin-rich foods, such as black raspberries – and enjoy the health benefits that these antioxidant-rich foods offer.
Nutraingredients-USA.com. “Black raspberries may reduce colorectal cancer risk: Mouse study”