HOW TO BLACK BERRIES HELP TO IMPROVE HEALTH
Most berries contain sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose which contribute to their sweetness. All berries contain carotenoids, including components that are precursors of vitamin A. The levels of some vitamins are nutritionally-significant.
Black berries nutritional sources:
Blackberries are lower in sugar and higher in fiber than many other fruits and are brimming with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Frozen blackberries provide
• Excellent Source of Vitamins. One cup provides 37% DV of vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting and helps strengthen bones.
One cup also has 13% DV of folate, which helps the body form red blood cells and helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
• Excellent Source of Minerals.
One cup provides 90% DV of manganese, which plays an important role in bone development and other body functions. Other minerals in blackberries include copper, magnesium, iron and potassium.
• Excellent Source of Fiber
8 grams in one cup, blackberries provide 30% DV of dietary fiber. Foods high in fiber may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes
. • Antioxidant Power.
Blackberries have high concentrations of flavonoids with potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals that can cause cell damage leading to cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Purple Power Blackberries get their deep-purple hue from flavonoids called anthocyanins, which contribute to the antioxidant and antiinflammatory benefits of blackberries.
Scientists studying the potential health benefits of blackberries are focusing on
• Diabetes prevention
• Cancer prevention
• Strengthening the immune system
- There is considerable evidence that berry components from raspberries, black currants, strawberries and other less common berries can influence the proliferation of human cancer cell lines grown in model systems.
- Evidence of this type has been obtained from a range of cancer lines originating from different organs and body locations from prostate to lung, breast to colon and blood to cervical cancers.
- Many studies have not adequately defined their source material so making assumptions about effective components is impossible and sometimes certain components are proposed to be causative without sufficient evidence.
- Previous studies at the James Hutton Institute suggested that ellagitannins from raspberry were particularly effective against cancer cells18 but others19 found that hexane extracts from Rubus species were more effective than methanol or ethyl acetate extracts against colon, lung, breast and gastric cancer cells.
- This suggested that non-polar components, such as fats or terpenes extracted from the berry seeds, may also be effective anticancer agents. Considering the problems of bioavailability outlined above, the use of cell lines derived from GIT cancers which could be in contact with active components in the digestive trait could be more physiologicallyrelevant models20. It is important to tease out that the effects of the berry components are specifically anti-cancer rather than generally cytotoxic
- .Studies on “normal” versus “tumourigenic” cells can be very relevant in this regard21 . Cell-based models can be usefully employed to examine new and complex areas. For example, longterm chronic exposure to low levels of environmental carcinogens could cause the transformation of normal human breast epithelial cells into precancerous cells22 and it was noted that application of proanthocyanidins could ameliorate this transformation.
- Researchers also noted that anthocyanidins co-administered with paclitaxel, a mitotic inhibitor used in cancer chemotherapy, increased the effectiveness of this anti-cancer drug by 5-8 fold in cell line models23 .
- Cell line studies can be very effective in defining possible mechanisms involved in anticancer effects. For example, signal transduction events may be specifically triggered during anti-proliferative effects of berry components