Berries and cancer prevention

You may have caught some recent reports about new research findings on berries and cancer prevention. For example, our hometown newspaper, The New York Times, featured an interesting piece entitled “The Power of Berries,” on Jan. 22 2009, which detailed the accumlating evidence for the efficacy of these fruits in warding off development of cancers of the colon, esophagus, and mouth.

This article paid special attention to investigations conducted by Prof. Gary D. Stoner of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Professor Stoner’s research, like that of others in the field, has built on the well-studied general association between consumption of berries (including black and red raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and elderberries) and lower rates of cancer. It has also been widely recognized that certain compounds within berries, such as anthocyanins (which give berries their color), may be responsible for their most significant cancer prevention effects.

Dr. Stoner’s research has given him even deeper insights into berries and cancer prevention, as he’s come to conclude that berries may exert a “genome-wide” anti-cancer effect, meaning that, unlike many cancer treatments that target only one cancer-promoting gene at a time, the consumption of berries may target a whole spectrum of cancer-promoting genes, causing them to shut down development of pre-cancerous and cancerous growths. All of which leads him to a recommendation: “We know berries have so many effects on processes related to cancer development. They are one of the food stuffs you probably should consider consuming every day, or at least a few times a week.”

There’s one additional, practical note to these studies of berries and cancer prevention: recent investigations have shown that freeze dried berries and berry powders can be just as effective as fresh fruit in terms of anti-cancer effects. Since it’s not always possible to eat loads of fresh berries several times a week, using a powdered berry supplement would seem to make a lot of sense for anyone interested in cancer prevention.

Here is a low-cost berry powder supplement that NYBC has carried for several years:

Berry High (Jarrow)

Berry High includes powdered forms of fruits rich in antioxidants, as well as ellagic acid, anthocyanins and other polyphenols. Each scoop (1 tablespoon) of 6 grams contains:

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – 58 mg
Apple juice powder – 3,130 mg
Raspberry – 372 mg
Blueberry – 50 mg
Mountain cranberry – 250 mg
Strawberry – 400 mg
Black currant powder – 200 mg
Grape juice powder – 200 mg
Lemon juice powder – 220 mg
Pineapple juice powder – 150 mg
Guava juice powder – 150 mg
Peach juice powder – 150 mg
Quercetin – 130 mg
Passion juice powder – 100 mg


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