Study: Eating Black Raspberries May Help Prevent Colon Cancer

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on


black raspberries

Findings of an investigation by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago suggest regular consumption of black raspberries may help prevent colorectal cancer [1].

The study, which was recently featured in Cancer Prevention Research [2], tested the effectiveness of supplementing the diets of cancer and colitis prone lab mice with freeze-dried black powder. The two types of mice, technically referred to as strains Apc1638 and Muc2, are engineered to lack specific genes which significantly reduce their chances of developing either colorectal cancer or Ulcerative colitis, respectively.

Details of the Study

The mice were randomly assigned to one of two groups, both of which were fed a high-fat, vitamin deficient Western-style diet. Members of the experimental group were also fed dried black raspberry powder in large quantities equal to about ten percent of of their total base diet. No additional changes were made to the diets of the control group mice.

After 12 weeks, the number of tumors noted in cancer-prone members of the experimental black raspberry group was about 60% lower than statistical average. Similarly, a 50% reduction in instances of tumor formation were noted in colitis-prone Muc2 members of the experimental group.

Researchers behind the study attribute the reduction of tumors in the Muc2 mice to a reduction in chronic intestinal irritation, an effect of colitis which is known to contribute to the development of colon cancer.

How Do Black Raspberries Prevent Cancer?

This latest study builds off previous research that has found raspberries, black raspberries, and blueberries to all contain varying degrees of specialized antioxidants that are believed to have strong, health-promoting characteristics.

In fact, the researchers behind this most recent study suspect that the black raspberry’s ability to fight redness throughout the body may be the source of its ability to fight cancer (and potentially certain neurodegenerative conditions as well).

Ongoing systemic redness causes a great deal of stress on the body. In the case of colitis, this prolonged irritation can permanently damage sensitive digestive tissue, causing them to mutate and become cancerous.

Long-term Potential of These Findings

Dr. Wancai Yang, the study’s senior author, hopes that these preliminary findings will enable his team to gather the additional funding they to begin testing the effects of black raspberry in humans.

Beyond its potential application as a cancer-preventative, Dr. Yang suspects the compounds in the berry may also help combat other serious health conditions such as heart disease and certain forms of mental degeneration in the elderly.

What are your thoughts about this study? Let me hear them in the comments below.

References (2)
  1. University of Chicago. Black raspberries may prevent colon cancer, study finds. Cancer Prevention Research. 2010 November 2.
  2. Bi X, Fang W, Wang LS, Stoner GD, Yang W. Black raspberries inhibit intestinal tumorigenesis in apc1638+/- and Muc2-/- mouse models of colorectal cancer. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2010 Nov;3(11):1443-50. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-10-0124. Epub 2010 Nov 2.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Alex

    Great info! Thanks for sharing this. We need to get back to eating real food and getting processed food out of our diets.

  • Acid Skin

    Wow! That is a really neat study. I love to eat blackberries, but I don’t buy them often due to their price. This just gives me a reason to buy and eat more of them. Thanks for the info!

  • Ken Jensen

    Would like to add further to your report. I am located on Vancouver Island and work with one of the US leading bio-chemists and scientists. I can confirm we have seen level 4 cancer along with many the deadly diseases treated with the Wild Black Raspberry, Which are harvested in the wild right here on Vancouver Island. Canada
    I sincerely wish more research would go into the wild variety. Through research we have now discovered many types of wild berries and plants have many times the health benefits when compared to their cultivated counterparts.

    Our cultivated foods are killing us… They lack the trace elements and nutrients required for healthy living. Lets not forget to add in all the pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers being used in almost all cultivated foods today. As well as 100% soil depletion. This is a deadly mix.

    Kind Regards

  • Amaryllis

    The article refers to black raspberries, not blackberries. Are they the same or different?

  • Blackberry and black raspberry are two different fruits. A person who is not that exposed to berries will surely have a hard time distinguishing one from the other; but you can never blame them because it is really hard to tell which is which by simply looking at the fruit itself. It may be because both fruits belong to the same genus ‘Rubus’ and the same family ‘Rosaceae’ that they are often confused with one another. This is also why these two fruits are called ‘brambles.’ Bramble fruits are characterized by the clustering of smaller fruits (druplets) to become one bigger clump of fruit.

    The most obvious key difference between the two is the stem. When you pick up the black raspberry from the plant, you will notice that it has become hollow. In other words, its stem (more appropriately termed as receptacle) was pulled out from the fruit and remained with the plant. This is not the case with blackberries because when you harvest them, you will almost always retain its stem.

    Secondly, it is said that black raspberries can be harvested earlier compared to blackberries. It will usually take several weeks more to harvest blackberries after you are already done harvesting your black raspberries.

    Thirdly, blackberries are said to be more sensitive to cold. In this regard, these fruits cannot endure temperatures of 10 degrees or less. It is best to protect blackberries from the freezing temperatures of the winter season.

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