The cancer-fighting abilities of berries have been put under the microscope at leading universities over the past decade, and researchers at Ohio State are putting them to /pages/ the test again. Black raspberries are being used in a four-year study that began in July to see if they can slow or stop the return of oral cancer, which has one of the highest rates of recurrence. The study, funded by the American Cancer Society, will analyze the effects freeze-dried black /pages/ raspberries have on 120 oral cancer patients. Initial short-term patient studies have shown promise, continuing the trend started by Dr. Gary D. Stoner in previous OSU research that found a diet rich in /pages/ black raspberries slowed and reduced the growth of colon and esophageal tumors.
At the heart of these studies is continued evidence of /pages/ the health benefits found not just in black raspberries, but blackberries, blueberries, cranberries,/pages/ red raspberries and strawberries. Mounting data are showing that the properties found in dark-skinned berries can have a positive effect on the body. The antioxidant and other health-friendly properties of these berries are a theory that has long been promoted by Berry Health Inc. founder Dr. Paul Gross, an expert on antioxidant drugs and founding member of the International Berry Health Association.
&/pages/quot;This effect from black raspberries, blackberries and strawberries has been seen only in laboratory animals to date, but is promising enough that Dr. Stoner has begun human clinical trials," said Dr. Gross, a noted authority on cardiovascular and brain physiology who launched Berry Wise berry based nutritional supplements in May 2006. "But the most important chemicals being studied by Dr. Stoner and others are pigments that all colorful plants have. ... Eating a mix of colorful plant foods likely provides the best dietary defense against diseases of oxidative stress like cancer."
Berry Wise takes that colorful concept and packs it into its nutritional supplement products, taking nutritious blueberries, plus a multitude of other berries, to create great-tasting functional foods like Berry Wise Antioxidant. The daily supplement has nine berries, 12 essential vitamins, nine minerals, four fibers and is an outstanding source of antioxidants, one of the main elements researchers say is a cancer preventative.
Dr. Gross, however, is quick to take the high road of responsibility and point out that Berry Wise, unlike some other health-food manufacturers, is not out to make unsubstantiated health claims about its products.
"This would obligate clinical trials to prove a specific health or anti-disease effect," said Dr. Gross. "We have not done this, nor do we plan to do it, as we feel the balanced nutrients and antioxidant contents of our products are features valued by consumers."