Researchers at the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center have revealed that a component of black raspberries can effectively help in cancer prevention.
They found that anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids in black raspberries, inhibited growth and stimulated apoptosis in the esophagus of rats treated with an esophageal carcinogen.
"Our data provide strong evidence that anthocyanins are important for cancer prevention," said the study's lead author, Gary D. Stoner, Ph.D., a professor in the department of internal medicine at Ohio State University.
During the study, the team led by Stoner fed rats an anthocyanin-rich extract of black raspberries and found that the extract was nearly as effective in preventing esophageal cancer in rats as whole black raspberries.
The researchers conducted clinical trials using whole berry powder, which has yielded some promising results, but required patients to take up to 60 grams of powder a day.
"Now that we know the anthocyanins in berries are almost as active as whole berries themselves, we hope to be able to prevent cancer in humans using a standardized mixture of anthocyanins," said Stoner.
"The goal is to potentially replace whole berry powder with its active components and then figure out better ways to deliver these components to tissues, to increase their uptake and effectiveness.
"Ultimately, we hope to test the anthocyanins for effectiveness in multiple organ sites in humans," he added.