Research on berry's cancer preventing role

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Related tags: Nutrition, Fruit

Research on berries' health benefits are taking a step further and
human clinical trials are set to begin to investigate their role as
cancer-preventing agent.

Many researchers believe there are health benefits to berries in addition to their vitamin C and fibre content. Human clinical trials are starting at Ohio State University to see if benefits seen in lab rats are also evident in humans. Researchers have been investigating health benefits of strawberries, raspberries and black raspberries for years. They have found that, in rats, at least, berries can inhibit the metabolism of some carcinogens, so there are fewer "mutational"​ events that can lead to cancer. Berries also seem to slow down the growth rate of pre-cancerous cells. The human clinical trials focus on two pre-cancerous conditions: Barrett's Oesophagus and Familial Adenomateous Polyposis (FAP). Berries contain a lot of polyphenolic compounds, such as ellagic acid. These compounds have been shown to possess anti-mutagenic and antioxidant properties. But researchers suspect that other phyto-nutrients also play a role. Scientists are just beginning to understand phyto-nutrients in fruits and vegetables. Soon, the public will be able to learn more about them as the Produce for Better Health Foundation teams up with the US Department of Agriculture​ to build a database of phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables. The database is scheduled to be completed this fall.

Related topics: Science

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