A study by the Ohio State Comprehensive Center revealed black raspberries contain the cancer fighting agent known as anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids that inhibit the growth of esophageal cancer in rats.
"Our data provide strong evidence that anthocyanins are important for cancer prevention," Gary D. Stoner, Ph.D., a professor in the department of internal medicine at Ohio State University, was quoted as saying.
Rats were fed an extract from black raspberries rich in anthocyanin and found it was nearly as effective in preventing esophageal cancer in rats as whole black raspberries were. Dr. Stoner and colleagues have previously studied whole berry powder in patients, but that required a dose of up to 60 grams a day of the substance.
"Now that we know the anthocyanins in berries are almost as active as whole berries themselves, we hope to be able to prevent cancer in humans using a standardized mixture of anthocyanins," Dr. Stoner explained. "The goal is to potentially replace whole berry powder with its active components and then figure out better ways to deliver these components to tissues, to increase their uptake and effectiveness."
Cancer Prevention Research, January 2009