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Black Raspberries May Help Prevent Cancer

More berried treasure! A story similar to the strawberries and esophageal cancer revelation I documented in Strawberries versus Esophageal Cancer has emerged with black raspberries and oral cancer.

Oral cancer is one of the 10 most common cancers in the US with a flip-of-the-coin death rate. We can reduce our risk of oral cancer by avoiding all forms of tobacco, restricting alcohol consumption, avoiding obesity, and eating at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day. Other risk factors include having more than 5 lifetime oral sex partners and prolonged (more than 20 years) marijuana use. But what if you already have precancerous changes in your mouth?

Black raspberries appear to selectively inhibit the growth of both malignant and premalignant cells in a petri dish while leaving normal cells alone, but what about in an actual person? Researchers at Ohio State University took some folks with precancerous growths in their mouths (so called oral “intraepithelial neoplasia”) and had them apply a black raspberry gel for 6 weeks.

Like the esophageal study with strawberries, most of the patients’ lesions improved, including complete clinical regression. If you click to watch the above video you can see the disease disappear–thanks to just berries! They were able to follow a reversal of genetic changes that had led to the silencing of tumor suppressor genes.

If you aren’t near a pick-your-own farm, black raspberries can be ordered online frozen but they’re about 20 bucks a pound with shipping. Black raspberry freeze-dried powder is comparatively cheaper, but I’ve always wondered about how much nutrition is lost. Well, there’s finally been a study.

The antioxidant concentration was measured in fresh, frozen, and freeze-dried strawberries and strawberry jam, with the intent of measuring antioxidant content of foods typically available to consumers in grocery stores. On a consumed weight basis, the freeze-dried do shine, but just because an ounce of dried is equivalent to about a cup and a half of fresh. Jam, though, presumably because of the heat processing, really takes a hit (chart in the above video).

For more on what berries can do, see my videos Cranberries versus Cancer and Which Fruit Fights Cancer Better?

I’ve previously covered the clinical trials of black raspberries (though in a different orifice) in Best Fruits For Cancer Prevention. I also touched on the adverse effects of breathing smoke from any source in Cannabis Receptors & Food.

Berries in general are the healthiest fruits and I encourage everyone to try to fit them into their daily diet. Here are a few of my 37 other videos on berries:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you havenít yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations†Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and More Than an Apple a Day.

Image credit: Bernie via Wikimedia Commons and†Marisa | Food in Jars, Rob Ireton and†Chiot’s Run via Flickr

Related:
Anti-Cancer Nutrient Synergy in Cranberries
The Science on Acai Berries
Which Common Fruit Fights Cancer Better?

Read more: Health, Cancer, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, General Health, Videos, , ,

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at NutritionFacts.org.

61 comments

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4:58AM PDT on May 1, 2014

The information in this blog is extremely useful for the people.
acai berry supplement

11:52AM PDT on Aug 2, 2013

ty

11:09AM PDT on Aug 2, 2013

I love all berries, especially raspberries. Thanks Dr. Greger.

6:47PM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

I would love some blackberries or boysenberries. I do once in a while buy them frozen, no added sugar and I just eat them frozen like a treat. You can let them defrost or make smoothies which i have never done . the frozen is better than nothing for me when I crave them once ,maybe twice a year.

3:05AM PDT on Jul 27, 2013

I enjoy all berries a lot..... like raspberries, but have never seen the black raspberries.

But what I really enjoy is picking wild berries! Blackberries are only barely showing signs of their coming abundance.

7:16PM PDT on Jul 26, 2013

Michigan is just finishing it's black raspberry run for the summer. I love them.

6:32AM PDT on Jul 26, 2013

Thank you Dr. Michael Greger, for Sharing this!

11:53PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

All berries are antioxidant wonders.

11:22PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

Thanks

8:24PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

Excellent information, thanks!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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