May 2, 2017
A new animal study showed that 500g of concentrated strawberry extract (equivalent to around 10 and 15 strawberries) can reduce breast cancer cell growth. Researchers noted that their findings build on existing data that prove the usefulness of strawberries in reducing blood cholesterol levels. Published in Scientific Reports, authors claimed that a diet that is rich in strawberries can potentially prevent or treat breast cancer.
“We have shown for the first time that strawberry extract, rich in phenolic compounds, inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells in in vitro and in vivo models,” wrote Maurizio Battino, co-author of the study, in an article on ScienceDaily.com. Battino explained the process of the study as such: cells from a highly aggressive, invasive A17 tumor line were treated with various concentrations (between 0.5 and 5 mg/ml) of Alba strawberry extract, for periods of 24, 48, and 72 hours. Battino and his team found that all cells demonstrated decreased cell viability; with the amount of change dependent on the dosage and time. Furthermore, it was seen that the strawberry extract reduced the expression of several genes associated with the invasion and metastasis of cancer cells.
In the in vivo model, the team used female laboratory mice. When these mice were one month old, they were divided into two groups. One was given a standard diet, the other an enriched diet, which was 15 percent strawberry extract. After following their respective diets for another month, all mice were injected with A17 breast cancer cells. These tumors were monitored biweekly by palpation. Battino and his team extracted the tumors after five weeks and analyzed their specific weight and volume. Data saw that a strawberry extract supplemented diet stopped the propagation of cancer cells to adjacent healthy tissue. The tumors were also significantly smaller in both weight and volume.
Despite these positive results, researchers stressed that these involved animal models and cannot be assumed to be similar for humans. Battino stressed this with the explanation that “the majority of diseases, including cancer, are complex and involve complex interactions between cellular and molecular systems that determine the development of the disease. These results are without a doubt valid for understanding potential effects of strawberries on breast cancer and the molecular mechanisms involved, but they must be complemented with clinical and epidemiological studies to verify whether humans experience the same positive effects as we have observed in mice.”
Another factor to note, authors said, is that the concentration of phenolic compounds in strawberries (which is known to be the catalyst of these beneficial health effects) vary greatly between varieties. That being said, researchers concluded their study with the suggestion that a healthy lifestyle and nutrient-dense diet can dramatically reduce the risk of developing any form of cancer.
Looking at the other health benefits of strawberries
Despite the study using strawberry extract, consuming the fresh fruit can still improve overall health. Strawberries are excellent sources of various antioxidants and contain essential nutrients and vitamins such as potassium, manganese, and magnesium. The berry is also loaded with vitamin C.
Studies have shown that consuming ample amounts of strawberries can reduce blood pressure levels by negating the effects of sodium in the body. Wellness experts also recommend the berry for diabetic patients. Strawberries score low in the glycemic food index and help regulate blood sugar. There is research that suggest eating around 37 strawberries a day can reduce diabetes-related complications such as kidney disease and neuropathy.
A Harvard study concluded that regular consumption of anthocyanins (a type of flavonoids found in berries) can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 32 percent in young and middle-aged women. Researchers noted that women who ate three servings of strawberries or blueberries per week fared the best.
These are just a few examples of the numerous health benefits strawberries offer. It wouldn’t hurt to try integrating this delicious superfood in your diet today. Discover more news about anti-cancer food nutrients at Nutrients.news.