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Black Raspberry Anthocyanins May Have Anti-Cancer Effect

Products from black raspberries linked to lower number, volume of esophageal tumors in rats

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Black raspberry anthocyanins -- and other constituents in the berries -- may help prevent esophageal cancer, according to research published in the January issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

Li-Shu Wang, of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues analyzed data from F344 rats, which develop esophageal papillomas upon exposure to N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA). Experimental animals were treated with NMBA and ate diets containing either whole black raspberry powder, a fraction rich in anthocyanins, an ethanol/water-soluble extract, a residue fraction containing little anthocyanins, or a hexane extract or sugar fraction containing only trace amounts of anthocyanins. Animals were killed at week 30 and their esophageal tumors were assessed.

Diets containing the whole powder, the anthocyanin fraction, or the ethanol/water-soluble extract had similar effects on reducing the number and volume of tumors, the investigators found. However, the diet containing the residue fraction was also roughly equal in effectiveness. The hexane extract and sugar fraction were ineffective, the authors note. Further experimentation revealed that the anthocyanins and some compounds in the residue fraction reduced cell proliferation and angiogenesis and induced apoptosis in the esophagus, the researchers report.

"The residue of black raspberry seems to be equally as effective as the anthocyanin fraction in preventing esophageal cancer in rats, and studies are ongoing to identify the active constituents in the residue. Finally, our data suggest that berry fractions may have therapeutic value for the treatment of esophageal tumorigenesis and, perhaps, consideration should be given to the use of these in conjunction with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy," the authors conclude.

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