(NaturalNews) Black raspberries contain natural compounds that may significantly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers from Ohio State University and published in the journal Cancer Prevention.
Researchers genetically engineered mice to develop either intestinal tumors or a type of colon inflammation, colitis, known to increase the risk of colorectal cancer. They then fed all the mice a high-risk diet low in calcium and vitamin D and high in saturated fat for 12 weeks. Some of the mice were fed 10 percent of their daily calories from freeze-dried black raspberry powder.
Among the mice engineered to get colitis, black raspberry powder significantly reduced inflammation and cut both the number of new and total tumors by 50 percent. Among mice engineered to get intestinal tumors, black raspberry powder reduced the number of new tumors by 45 percent and the number of total tumors by 60 percent. The effect appeared to be produced, in part, by the suppression of a protein that binds to the artificially modified gene.
The researchers noted that because the black raspberries were found to reduce inflammation, they might also reduce the risk of other chronic inflammation-linked diseases such as heart disease.
Black raspberries are less widely eaten than their red relatives or the similar-looking blackberry. Due to their darker skin, they contain significantly higher levels of cancer-fighting anthocyanins than red raspberries, and are also packed with other phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.
"In appearance, the black raspberry bears resemblance to the red, yet its color is darker and its shape tends more toward that of a 'skull cap' than the 'ball shape' of the red raspberry. The black species is a very seedy berry, whereas its red counterpart is less seedy and more juicy," writes John Heinerman in the book Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices.