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The Endless Benefits of Berries

Numerous studies have suggested that berries are potent cancer-fighters. In one test-tube study, extracts of six different kinds of berries–blueberry, blackberry, black raspberry, red raspberry, cranberry and strawberry–inhibited the growth of human mouth, breast, colon and prostate cancer cells. In addition, two of the extracts–black raspberry and strawberry—were able to stimulate apoptosis (cell death) in colon cancer cells. Açaí berries appear to be effective against leukemia cells, while the polysaccharides found in goji berries kill prostate cancer cells. To determine whether these lab results apply to real life, human trials are ongoing.

Berries may also have a role to play in the prevention of heart disease. A group of 72 middle-aged men and women were asked to consume either two portions of berries daily (100 grams of berries plus a small glass of a berry drink) or control products for two months. The berry group–whose members’ diets included bilberries, lingonberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, chokeberries and raspberries–ate an assortment of the berries whole, pureed or in juice form. At the end of the study, the berry-eaters saw systolic blood pressure reductions of up to 7.3mmHg, while levels of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL (“good” cholesterol), rose more than 5 percent.

Several animal studies suggest some berries may have antidiabetic effects. Indeed, a recent study in mice concluded that bilberries can improve hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. Although human trials are scarce, one found that a dietary supplement containing blueberry and sea buckthorn (seaberry; genus Hippophae) concentrates was beneficial in treating children with type 1 diabetes.

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Health

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Megan, selected from The Intelligent Optimist

Ode, the magazine for Intelligent Optimists, is an international independent journal that publishes positive news, about the people and ideas that are changing our world for the better.

81 comments

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5:12AM PDT on May 4, 2013

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

8:04AM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

Especially an echinococcus infection. :-(

6:26PM PDT on Mar 29, 2013

Thank you :)

5:11PM PDT on Mar 29, 2013

good to know

6:03AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

7:05AM PST on Dec 9, 2012

Thanks.

7:53AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Thanks for the information, I love all berries. Especially raspberries.

11:42AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Love them all, thank you.

11:41AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Love them all, thank you.

9:25PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

I Love Berries ! Thank you!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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