Life Extension By Eating Blackberries?

By Agostino Rossini

Black Raspberries, also known as blackberries, are a very good addition to the diet of most people due to the fruit's vitamin, antioxidant and fiber content. Unlike some foods that are good for you, raspberries also are delicious. They are so delicious that they make an acceptable subsitute for more traditional desserts.

Did you know that black raspberries might be better than just good for you, and that they might even help you live longer or help you prevent cancer? Recent research is uncovering amazing properties of this wonderful fruit. The bottom line is: blackberries taste good and may contribute to good health and longer life. If you want to know a few of the technical details, keep reading.


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During 2006, two important scientific reports were published in a journal called "Nutrition and Cancer." The first, by a group of scientists at Ohio State University, is titled, "Suppression of the tumorigenic phenotype in human oral squamous cell carcinoma cells by an ethanol extract derived from freeze-dried black raspberries." That is a long and complicated title, but the results can be summarized by saying that the raspberry extract slowed down the growth of cancerous cells in the test tube, and also inhibited biochemical pathways that can promote cancer development and growth. The scientists who conducted this research speculate that raspberry extracts might eventually be used to prevent pre-cancerous cells in the mouth from turning into cancer.

The second scientific report, published in the same journal, was by a group of researchers at New York University School of Medicine. This report is titled, "Molecular mechanisms involved in chemoprevention of black raspberry extracts: from transcription factors to their target genes." This title is also very complex, but the bottom line is that this report also provides evidence that extracts of blackberries suppress some of the biochemical events that lead to cancer. In this report, the scientists even suggest that blackberry extract might inhibit the factors that are important for providing blood supply to cancer cells, thus potentially helping to starve a tumor as it starts to develop.

Yet another scientific publication in 2006, in the journal called "Carcinogenesis," also by a group of researchers at Ohio State University, demonstrated a similar anti-tumor blood vessel effect by black raspberries.

Huge amounts of money are being spent on trying to find ways to stop the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumors. An example is the very expensive monoclonal antibody sold by Genentech called Avastin (also known as bevacizumab). Perhaps natural sources of blood vessel inhibition can be useful in preventing certain types of cancer before it develops.

As always, a lot of additional research will be required before we know for sure. But, isn't it nice to learn that something that tastes as good as fresh blackberries might also be very good for your health?

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