Can Blueberries Shrink Cancer Cells?

Can Blueberries Shrink Cancer Cells?
by Jennifer Elliot | November 5, 2012

Berries are widely recognized for the antioxidant properties they hold. As a result of these and other characteristics, the USDA talks about wild and cultivated berries in the ‘Journal of Food and Chemistry’ and ranks it among some of the most reputed superfoods that exist. The good news on blueberries in specific is rushing in at the speed of light as more and more research is conducted on the efficacy of this wonder fruit.

The most recent breakthrough research on blueberries has verified for these miniscule delicious beauties to be effective in curbing cancer to some extent by shrinking blood vessel tubes especially in babies, almost doubling their chances of survival. Blueberries have been found to be a great source of anthocyanins, which have been seen to carry the potential of preventing or altogether stopping the rapid multiplication of cancer cells. This piece of research was formulated by the professors at the Ohio State University and the subjects of the study were mice. However, substantial research has yet not been conducted on humans and hence, the matter remains unresolved. Either way, it is fair to say the future for blueberries in being a brave cancer fighter looks promising.

Blueberries and Colon Cancer

The anthocyanins contained by blueberries have anti-cancer properties. One such anthocyanin called pterostilbene found in blueberries may have colon cancer fighting abilities. Mentioned in a study that was published in 2010 in the ‘Carcinogenesis’, rats fed this particular anthocyanin for a period of eight weeks showed a 57% decrease in precancerous lesions of the colon as compared to the control group.

Blueberries and Breast Cancer

Research conducted on the efficacy of blueberries in treating breast cancer was also performed on mice, by researchers belonging to the Beckman Research Institute California. This research extended over a period of six weeks, whereby the mice were subjected to blueberry extracts throughout. The conclusive report showed that the tumors in these mice had gone down by 70% in size and were less likely to migrate after being given the blueberry extracts.

Blueberries and Liver Cancer

The anthocyanin mentioned above, pterostilbene has not only been documented by research to be helpful in treating colon cancer, but also in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells in the liver. A report published in the ‘Food Research International’ testifies that the treatment of berry derived pterostilbene on liver cancer cells in a lab setting can inhibit liver cell population growth by around 50%, shrinking chances of developing liver cancer.

Blueberries and Lung Cancer

The popularity of pterostilbene does not curb at just colon and liver cancer. It also extends to lung cancer which has now become increasingly common. A research conducted on two lung cancer cell lines at the Department of Surgery at the University of Vermont, showed that pterostilbene only within 72 hours of being administered can decrease cancer cell viability in both lung cancer lines tested.

Blueberries and Esophageal Cancer

A research conducted by the Ohio State University used blueberry extracts on rats to test whether it had inhibiting effects on esophageal cancer cell growth. Associating the results to the anthocyanins and ellagintannin found in blueerries, the findings which were published in the ‘Pharmaceutical Research Journal’ in the 2010 edition, showed that the rats given blueberry extracts showed 50% less tumors as compared to the control group.

About the Author - Jennifer Elliot

Jennifer Elliot takes her Nutrition (and yours) very seriously! She believes that the strongest weapon we have against all diseases, ailments and conditions is Nutrition. She also widely promotes the importance of exercise to maintain optimal health. Keep an eye out for Jennifer’s articles to remain updated on how to lead a nutritious life!

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