EAST WAREHAM, Mass., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ — A new research review and study examines how cranberry’s unique flavonoid compounds — which act as potent antioxidants — have been further linked to potential anti-cancer properties. Led by Dr. Catherine C. Neto of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and funded in part by the Cranberry Institute and the Wisconsin Cranberry Board, this review is the first to examine the effects of cranberry polyphenols on human cancer cells, in order to further explore cranberry’s potential role in cancer prevention. The review was published in the current edition of The Journal of Nutrition and presented as a part of the International Research Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Cancer, hosted by the American Institute of Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. in July 2006.
The review explores the existing research and recent findings on the anti-cancer properties of the cranberry, and its diverse phytochemical profile that likely plays a role in cancer prevention. Cranberries’ high antioxidant content is one of the many factors that work synergistically to create observed anti-tumor activities. “The results from in vitro studies using a variety of tumor models show that the polyphenol extracts from cranberry inhibit the growth and spread of breast, colon, prostate, lung, and other tumors,” said Dr. Neto.
“This review is so significant because it adds to the growing body of evidence of both the proven and emerging health benefits of the cranberry,” said Martin Starr, PhD, science advisor to the Cranberry Institute.
The cranberry has long been recognized for its potential health benefits, from prevention of urinary tract infections and gum disease via a unique anti-adhesion mechanism, to its high level of antioxidants, which may also provide protection from cardiovascular disease. These new findings reinforce earlier research on cranberry’s anti-cancer benefits and show promise that cranberry may limit processes involved in tumor development and growth in human patients.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles tested the extracts of six berries, including cranberry, against human tumor cell lines in cell cultures. Cranberry extract was shown to be effective in slowing cancer cell growth, a protective benefit that increased with the amount of extract added.
The evidence is compelling, especially for consumers looking to add healthier foods to their diet. “It’s easy for consumers to add functional foods such as cranberries in their diet by eating dried cranberries as a snack or drinking a glass of cranberry juice once a day. And, apart from helping maintain wellness, cranberries taste great,” said Jere Downing, Executive Director of the Cranberry Institute.
About the Cranberry Institute:
The Cranberry Institute is dedicated to supporting research and increasing awareness about the many health benefits of the cranberry. For more information, visit www.cranberryinstitute.org .
About the Wisconsin Cranberry Board, Inc:
The Wisconsin Cranberry Board, Inc. administers the state’s cranberry marketing order. Under the order growers are assessed 10 cents per barrel of fruit sold. Proceeds are used to fund research, education and promotion programs for the industry. For more information, visit www.wiscran.org.