Blackberry (fruit) is the fruit of the Rubus genus (Bramble) which includes raspberries, dewberries, and up to 700 other species. Blackberries are used exclusively for making syrups, jams, jellies, sorbets and other desserts. In traditional herbal medicine, the dried leaves of the Rubus are used to make teas to treat inflammation of the throat, mild diarrhea, and cleanse the kidneys from toxins. But these claimed curative effects have not been proven scientifically.
How Does Blackberry Fight Cancer?
Blackberry is among the best anti cancer foods. In addition to their antioxidant properties, these berries contain an active agent against the development of cancer. A study conducted by the researchers of the Ohio State University, cancer center, on mice has shown these blackberries would restore certain genes damaged by cancer. The results of their experiments were published in August in the Journal of Cancer Research.
The researchers fed two groups of rodents, one with blackberry powder plus their normal diet, the other with ordinary food. A few weeks later, they injected them with a carcinogenic product (which causes cancer). In total, 2261 genes were affected in each mouse. Among those who had ingested blackberries, only some genes were affected, 462 remained close to their normal activities.
The scientists have then administered to the animals having eaten the blackberries, a form of chemoprevention treatment. Results show 53 genes have found their normal activity, which led the researchers to believe the chemoprevention agent acted in complementary with the fruit. They conclude that blackberries benefits could include a chemopreventive effect if the observed reaction in mice also produces in human beings.
Another group of researchers of the Centre for Research on Environmental Disease, University of Kentucky, recently demonstrated that a component of blackberry was able to significantly slow the growth of carcinomas (a type of cancer that starts in cells that make up the skin…) in mice exposed to ultraviolet radiation B (UVB), the most dangerous light in the solar spectrum.
Rubus, blackberries, black raspberry, and others, have powerful anti-inflammation properties.
“In terms of shutting down the inflammatory response, we’ve never seen anything like it,” says Dr. Anne VanBuskirk, an assistant professor of surgery in Ohio State’s College of Medicine and senior author of the study. The results of the study were presented on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Blackberries are rich in anthocyanins, members of the flavonoid group of phytochemicals which are predominant in certain fruits, vegetables, and other foods. Anthocyanin pigments and associated flavonoids have demonstrated ability to protect against a variety of human diseases, including many cancers.
By measuring the level of an enzyme called myeloperoxidase, the researchers show in mice exposed to UVB three times a week for 25 weeks but protected by an anthocyanin gel, a capacity of resistance 5 times greater to carcinogens (agents capable of causing cancer) compared to unprotected mice.
According to the researchers, this study suggests the possibility of manufacturing a product from blackberries capable of repairing very efficiently damages to the skin caused by excessive sun exposure. Another great thing is the fact the active ingredient is a natural product causing no side effects, as it is the case of conventional drugs. In addition, the fact anthocyanin is so effective, a low quantity of fruit production will be enough to provide desired results.
However, be careful with claims on the internet such as “blackberry cancer prevention”, “blackberry cancer cure”, and others. The berry has anti-tumor properties it does mean it is a treatment to cure cancers. Along with other therapies, eating fruits and vegetables can help reverse even terminal cases. The ideal thing to do is to buy fresh blackberries and consume them regularly.