Last month there were a slew of new studies revealed at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting using black raspberries and all targeted different areas of the body. Here are some blurbs from articles outlining studies done on actual people!
“A key observation was that black raspberries appear to beneficially alter the activity of a patient’s fat metabolizing enzymes, as well as enzymes produced by microbes present in the patient’s gastrointestinal tract. This combination results in beneficial fatty acid metabolism and appears to have protective health effects for colorectal cancer patients. The original abstract on the study contains more detailed information on this process.”
“This study provides compelling data that indicate biochemical markers of cancer-causing DNA damage were reduced in participants who adhered to the food-based regimen and supports other evidence from a phase 2 human trial linking application of black raspberry gel to precancerous lesions to a reduced risk of developing oral cancer.”
Firstly, both of these studies are done in areas where the compounds in black raspberries have direct contact with the affected tissue. As we have talked about before, this is one of many reasons why black raspberry capsules are at best misguided and non-effective. It is also interesting that these studies focused on two different mechanisms, reducing inflammation, and reducing DNA damage. Black raspberries are more than just an antioxidant! It is all the healthy compounds and nutrients combined together that makes them so good for you.
A quick comment before the last new research. This next one is on a rat model, but has some very interesting information. Firstly, the study is on black raspberries potentially helping with prostate cancer. This is different than the first two articles because black raspberry powder and/or compounds never makes direct contact with the prostate, so the compounds must have been absorbed into the bloodstream at some point to get there. Let’s take a look:
“The findings reveal for the first time that black raspberry metabolites accumulate in prostate tissue, indicating that the anthocyanins were absorbed, metabolized by the liver, and transported in the blood to the prostate. In a companion study, the researchers also found that ellagic acid, another major antioxidant in black raspberries, inhibited growth of human prostate cancer cells in the laboratory setting.
Although these data are promising, further research is needed to understand what effects black raspberry consumption might have in human prostate cancer subjects.”
This is very exciting research, but it’s too early to jump to conclusions yet. Our bodies still function a little differently than rats.
One final thought:
It is exciting to see research done with a living subject instead of in a test tube. After all, we can’t just simply fly in there Innerspace style and apply compounds directly to cancerous tissues. When we eat things, our body breaks some compounds down, and destroys others. Sometimes nutrients can pass right through us without getting absorbed. One great thing about black raspberries is that they are, albeit rare and costly, still just berries. You can eat them without having to look at a laundry list of side effects. This allows researchers to more easily test what happens when people actually consume the berries, and that is what really matters. I will leave you with a recent comic on the matter, courtesy of xkcd.com: