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

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


Jetana A
Jetana A5 months ago

Gorgeous berries! I've never seen these, and unfortunately would probably not grow here. I do eat a lot of frozen organic red raspberries, yum!

Marija M
Marija M5 months ago

tks very much

Rokcy Less
Past Member 4 years ago

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

Tim C.
Tim C5 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O5 years ago

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

PrimaAWAY B.
PrimaAWAY B5 years ago

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.

heather g.
heather g5 years ago

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.

Jacqueline S.
Jacqueline S5 years ago

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

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Dr. Michael Greger, for Sharing this!

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

All berries are antioxidant wonders.