Anticancer Properties of Blueberries
Blueberry plant is a berry that grows on shrubs of the Vaccinium genus from North America, where mostly they are
found. Blueberries are close to bilberry (whortleberry or European blueberry), but have different characteristics
such as their color, their slightly less sweet taste and specific properties. Wild blueberries are very small while
the cultivated ones are larger. A cultivated blueberry usually grows on a shrub that can reach over 1 meter (100
cm) in height, while a wild one grows low to the ground, on a bush about ten centimeters.
Among twenty fruits analyzed, blueberry is ranked first in term of antioxidant capacity. Closely follow
cranberry, blackberry, raspberry and strawberry. It is even better when the fruit is eaten fresh. Therefore, do not
neglect to color your plates with this berry to help your body fight free radicals, agents leading to many medical
Health Benefits of Blueberries
It is known that a diet rich in fruits and vegetable is very beneficial. Importance to eat a grand variety is
the fact each fruit or vegetable provides their specific nutrients, thus health benefits. Although we cannot make
any claim “blueberries cancer treatment”, studies have shown regular consumption may help fight the disease. Below
are some health benefits of consuming blueberries regularly.
Anti-Cancer – some studies have showed that extracts of blueberry and blueberry have
antioxidant properties capable of fighting cancer cells. In fact, they have the highest compared to those of other berries:
strawberry, cranberry, raspberry and elderberry. Bilberry extract was the most potent in inhibiting the growth
of leukemic cells and colon cancer cells. Flavonoids (or bioflavonoids) from blueberry and bilberry may also be
protective against certain cancers. Blueberries act on the DNA of the by preventing the generation of certain
cancer-causing mutations. Blueberries cancer fighting properties are still under study; more discoveries are yet
It is observed in laboratory that the juice of wild blueberry, raspberry and cranberry would slow the growth of
human cancer cells mainly in the stomach, prostate, and bowel. Blueberry extracts may also have a preventive effect
against breast cancer by decreasing the proliferation of the malignant cells and tumor incidence.
Blueberries kill cancer cells in other organs, but more studies are needed to confirm. Although these studies
were performed in vitro, the portion of blueberry extracts used for humans was about ¾ cup (185 mL, 120 g) of
fresh blueberries per day for a 60 kg person.
Some other Blueberries Benefits
Anti-cardiovascular Disease - Clinical and epidemiological studies indicate that
consumption of flavonoids in foods and beverages may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a cardiovascular risk
factor. In addition, blueberries contain phenol, a chemically active compound which is found in some plants. It
helps to slow the onset of cardiovascular diseases by reducing blood lipids from oxidation; the oxidative stress
leads to cell death and inflammation of the vasculature.
Animal studies have shown blueberries benefits are enormous. For instance, along with a diet rich in vegetables
it has shown to decrease bad cholesterol levels. According to some researchers, blueberries would act in synergy
with certain foods such as non-GMO soybeans, oats and barley, and improve the lipid profile of the blood. Although no big
study has shown, to date, such an effect in humans, the authors suggest that with equivalent doses, about 2 cups
(500 ml) per day, the observed effects could occur in humans.
Anti-diabetic - Studies at the University of Montreal have shown that fermented wild
blueberry juice has antidiabetic properties. This juice helps to protect against the development of diabetes or
glucose intolerance. It also would prevent hyperglycemia in diabetic mice, and the development of diabetes and
obesity in pre-diabetic mouse. Another study concludes that blueberry powder added to a high-fat diet confers
protection against insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.
UTIs – E coli is the main cause of urinary tract infections. An in vitro study has shown
that a precise fraction of blueberry flavonoids could prevent bacterium E. coli (Escherichia coli) to adhere to the
walls of the urinary tract. However, no large no clinical studies have confirmed the effect of the actual
consumption on the prevention of urinary tract infections. Scientists just theorize regular consumption can
decrease the risk for developing UTI.
Disorders – a plant based diet is the best weapon against disorders related to aging. Not only
eating blueberries could helps prevent balance and coordination problems, but also provide antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory protection in elderly people. Fermented blueberry juice may help prevent neurodegenerative
diseases by protecting the neurons against oxidative stress. Blueberries could thus help decrease the
progression of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's. Studies in humans and animals have shown that blueberry
juice consumption may improve tasks related to memory. The addition of blueberry extracts to animal diet
would prevent also the cognitive decline and may even improve it.