Black raspberries may contain compounds that prevent esophageal cancer and keep precancerous growths from becoming malignant, a preliminary animal study from Ohio State University suggests. Rats injected with a cancer-causing compound were less likely to develop cancer of the esophagus when black raspberries comprised 5% to 10% of their daily diet. The findings add to a growing body of evidence linking berries with lower cancer risk.
Additionally, tumors that had developed in rats fed raspberries only after receiving the injections were found to decrease in size after 15 weeks. After six months, rats fed diets of 5% to 10% black raspberries saw the number of esophageal tumors decrease by 43% to 62%. A diet containing 5% black raspberries was more effective than a diet containing 10% black raspberries.
Raspberries contain many vitamins, minerals, plant compounds and antioxidants known as anthocyanins that may protect against cancer. While it is not clear how these compounds fight off cancer, the researchers recommend that individuals include a serving of fresh or frozen berries in their daily diet.
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