John Phillip February 19, 2011
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths. This devastating disease is on the rise as our typical diet of processed foods continues to kill. A diet void of essential nutrients is the driving force behind this largely preventable disease. Researchers continue to uncover the critical link between a diet packed with natural plant based phytonutrients and cancer prevention. You can add these important foods to your dietary arsenal and dramatically lower your risk of disease.
Study Shows a 45% Reduction in Colon Cancer Risk
Research conducted at the University of Illinois and published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research show that a diet supplemented with black raspberries lowered the incidence of colorectal cancer by 45%. The study authors conclude that the high polyphenol content of the raspberries are likely to influence digestive gene targets and may be of benefit to other digestive cancer lines as well.
Shown to Reverse Gene Damage
A second study published in Cancer Research demonstrated that there are over 2000 genes that are responsible for regulating digestive health. These genetic targets are down regulated with a diet of processed foods, hydrogenated fats and sugar to favor the initiation and development of cancer. Supplementing with a concentration of freeze-dried black raspberries was shown to return 462 of those genes to a normal state.
The study author concluded, “We have clearly shown that berries, which contain a variety of anticancer compounds, have a genome-wide effect on the expression of genes involved in cancer development”. Researchers have shown that the active compound found in black raspberries inhibits tumor development by suppressing the activity of a protein needed for the disease to progress. Further, black raspberries reduce levels of dangerous systemic inflammation that lower tumor formation by 50%.
Anthocyanins are Powerful Antioxidants
Black raspberries aren’t the only member of the berry family known to prevent disease. Research has concentrated on the antioxidant capacity of berries and how anthocyanins can reduce the risk from diseases ranging from diabetes and dementia to stroke and heart disease. Information published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explains that berry compounds have a significant biological activity that has been shown to be a powerful inhibitor of cancers of the digestive tract.
The researchers tested the chemo-protective properties of anthocyanin-rich extracts (ARE`s) to determine which exhibited the highest antioxidant power. They found that purple corn, chokeberry, bilberry, purple carrot and grapes were at the top of the list. Anthocyanins impart the deep purple color to these foods that make them such powerful agents against cancer.
Members of the berry family and foods rich in anthocyanins have been consumed by our ancestors for generations. These potent compounds provide us with an important tool to prevent many diseases that result from our poor western diet. Be certain your diet includes a source of anthocyanins to dramatically lower your risk of digestive cancers.