March 26, 2007
Blueberries Reduce Colon Cancer Risk?

Blueberries and grapes contain a compound that lowers the incidence of colon cancer in rats.

Along with scientists Nanjoo Suh, also of Rutgers, and Agnes Rimando of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Reddy and his associates conducted a small pilot study to determine the effect of pterostilbene on colon cancer. The study included 18 rats that were given a compound (azoxymethane) to induce colon cancer in a manner similar to human colon cancer development. Nine of the animals were then placed on a balanced daily diet, while the other nine were given the same diet supplemented with pterostilbene (at a level of 40 parts per million).

At the end of an eight-week study period, the rats that were fed pterostilbene showed 57 percent fewer pre-cancerous lesions in their colon in comparison to the control group, Reddy and his associates say. Pterostilbene also reduced colonic cell proliferation and inhibited certain genes involved in inflammation, both of which are considered colon cancer risk factors, the researchers say.

You can read the full paper online: Pterostilbene, an Active Constituent of Blueberries, Suppresses Aberrant Crypt Foci Formation in the Azoxymethane-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis Model in Rats. The full paper reports that pterostilbene has been found in blueberries, cranberries, sparkleberries, lingonberries, and grapes.

Pterostilbene lowers blood lipids and cancer. Some labs report that pterostilbene lowers blood glucose sugar levels as well.

Glucose levels in rats with hyperglycemia induced by streptozotocin were determined after i.p. administration of marsupsin (1), pterosupin (2), and pterostilbene (3), three important phenolic constituents of the heartwood of Pterocarpus marsupium. Marsupsin and pterostilbene significantly lowered the blood glucose level of hyperglycemic rats, and the effect was comparable to that of 1,1-dimethylbiguanide (metformin).

But you aren't going to get pterostilbene from wine because it appears to be too unstable to survive the wine-making process.

For reasons that are unclear, pterostilbene is not normally found in wine, Rimando says. This may be because it is unstable in light and air, which makes it less likely to survive the wine-making process, she says.

Pterostilbene and resveratrol are both antifungal compounds and they deliver some of same health benefits as each other.

This research provides yet more argument for eating more berries, grapes, and cherries. Eat the full fruit for maximal benefit rather than drinking juice.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2007 March 26 08:50 PM  Aging Diet Resveratrol

Douglas Hanna said at March 28, 2007 7:24 AM:

Let's see. If blueberries could help prevent colon cancer and drinking red wine could prevent cancer, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and maybe even help treat asthma, arthritis and gum disease ... does this mean we can literally eat and drink ourselves to better health?

Doug Hanna

Bob Badour said at March 30, 2007 3:59 PM:

Sure. Why not? We can certainly eat and drink ourselves to worse health.

homeboy said at April 2, 2007 8:02 AM:

Does the grape juice making process also destroy the 'good' properties from grapes?

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