Berry in Black Makes Comeback

Natural Health on the Web, December 2007

Berry in Black Makes Comeback

by Frank Mangano

When it comes to the benefits of berries, blueberries have gotten the lion’s share of the coverage. And for good reason, as anybody who has read about what blueberries can do for you knows. But I’ve got news for blueberries: Make room for your plumper, darker friend…the blackberry.

No, I’m not talking about the wireless emailing device you can buy at Best Buy or Circuit City. I’m talking about the berry that’s 62 calories per cup! I’m talking about the berry that makes for one of the best tasting jams you can find. I’m talking about the berry that researchers say is the most potent cancer-fighting berry of them all—40 percent more potent, in fact! And according to new research, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, blackberries contain a natural ingredient that can destroy what kills approximately 22,000 people annually—leukemia cells.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh were able to isolate a specific anthocyanidin from the blackberry that researchers call C-3-R for short. Apparently, when they applied this anthocyanidin to leukemia and lymphoma cells, half of the cells died within 18 hours. What’s more, when the C-3-R was doubled, all of them died!

This could be a potentially earth-rattling finding considering the current treatment process people with leukemia and lymphoma have to go through. See, when people are given chemotherapy treatments to destroy cancer cells, many healthy cells are adversely impacted in the process. That’s why chemotherapy treatments have so many side effects, things like the depression of the immune system, fatigue, and nausea. Sometimes the side effects are short-term. Sometimes there are long-term side effects, like nerve damage or organ damage.

As with most studies, more research needs to be done to determine just how effective blackberries can be in the treatment of cancer, but as one of the researchers notes, the findings provide “a very promising approach” for future discovery in the ongoing battle to find a cure.

So the goal, of course, is to start working blackberries into your regular diet. Probably the easiest way is in the morning. Instead of blueberries on your shredded wheat in the morning, try a cup of blackberries. One full cup of blackberries is just 62 calories and gives you half of the vitamin C requirements you need in a day. Not only that, they’re loaded with antioxidants, making the top 10 list of foods most antioxidant-rich and the top three most anti-oxidant rich fruits (behind blueberries and cranberries, respectively).

The electronic Blackberry has gotten enough press. So has the blueberry. Let the word go forth that the blackberry is back and better than ever. Now that you know about it, be sure to eat plenty of them so you can be better than ever!


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