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Strawberries for Cancer Prevention?


Strawberries are one the best natural sources of ellagic acid, an antioxidant that has been shown to exert strong anti-cancer activity in test tube and animal studies. Therefore, it is not surprising that strawberries have caught the attention of scientists looking for new ways to stop the cancer epidemic that is plaguing the world's industrialized countries.

In this article, we take a look at some of the most exciting studies that have investigated the potential anti-cancer effects of strawberries.

Laboratory Studies

A laboratory study published in the journal Anticancer Research in 2013 found that lyophilized freeze-dried strawberries were capable of inhibiting tumor formation in an animal model of oral cancer (1). Another laboratory study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that strawberry extract was effective at inhibiting the growth of human oral, breast, colon and prostate tumor cell lines (2).

In yet another study investigating the potential anti-cancer effects of strawberries, laboratory mice were divided into two groups: one was given a standard diet, while the other group was put on a diet that was enriched with polyphenol-rich strawberry extract. The mice were injected with breast cancer cells, and the tumors were extracted and analyzed several weeks later. The results were startling: not only had the strawberry extract reduce the weight and volume of the tumors, it had also stopped the propagation of cancer cells to adjacent healthy cells. (3)

Research in Humans

While the results of the above-described studies investigating the potential cancer-fighting properties of strawberries have been promising, it is important to keep in mind that cancer is a complex disease, and conclusions cannot be drawn based on in vitro and animal studies alone. The good news is that given the promising results of these studies, also human studies investigating the health benefits of strawberries are starting to pop up.

In one such study, patients with esophageal precancerous lesions were given freeze-dried strawberry powder for six months. The researchers obtained biopsy specimens before and after the trial period, and the results were encouraging: The strawberry powder was found to suppress various biomarkers involved in the development of esophageal cancer, including cell proliferation, inflammation and gene transcription. And, 29 out of the 36 patients who consumed a daily dose of 60 grams (about two ounces) of freeze-dried strawberry powder experienced a decrease in histological grade of the precancerous lesions during the six-month trial. (4).

Tip: Buy freeze-dried organic strawberries and reap the health benefits of strawberries also when they are not in season in the Northern Hemisphere. Check out the health food stores in your region or buy organic, freeze-dried strawberries through Amazon.


Book You May Like
In The Anticancer Diet: Reduce Cancer Risk Through the Foods You Eat, a leading cancer expert David Khayat shares his knowledge on the role of diet and lifestyle in preventing cancer. Structured by the major food groups—as well as supplements, beverages and exercise—this international bestseller is filled with easy-to-follow—and often surprising—guidelines on how you can reduce your risk of developing cancer. Handy charts at the end of the book provide information on the best and worst foods, habits, and cooking methods for every body. To learn more about this authoritative, yet accessible guide, or to order a copy, head to Amazon.