Anti-Cancer Effect Of Black Raspberries At Genetic Level
How do vegetables and fruits reduce our risk of cancer? While this latest report doesn't show every step on the mechanism of effect part of the effect can be measured by looking at levels of gene expression. Black raspberries partially restore gene expression to normal levels in rats after exposure to a carcinogen (a cancer causing compound).
COLUMBUS, Ohio – New research strongly suggests that a mix of preventative agents, such as those found in concentrated black raspberries, may more effectively inhibit cancer development than single agents aimed at shutting down a particular gene.
Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center examined the effect of freeze-dried black raspberries on genes altered by a chemical carcinogen in an animal model of esophageal cancer.
After exposure to a carcinogen blackberry powder restored less than a fifth of the affected genes to normal level.
The carcinogen affected the activity of some 2,200 genes in the animals’ esophagus in only one week, but 460 of those genes were restored to normal activity in animals that consumed freeze-dried black raspberry powder as part of their diet during the exposure.
Better not get exposed to carcinogens in the first place. But a lot of the mutations that lead to cancer happen even in the absence of environmental carcinogens. They just happen at a faster rate when carcinogens are present.
Here's a potentially differing take on how fruits protect us from cancer, taken from "When a Little Poison is Good for You" printed in New Scientist on 06 Aug, 2008. Discussing hormetic stressors:
"The body's molecular bodyguards evolved to protect us from naturally occurring threats, but there are ways to activate them deliberately. One is by eating lots of fruits and vegetables. There is plenty of evidence that a diet rich in plant material will help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and some neurodegenerative disorders. The standard explanation for this is that fruit and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids. These neutralise damaging chemicals, called free radicals, that are an unavoidable by-product of metabolism.
At first glance this makes sense, given that free radical damage has been implicated in cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. However, most plant antioxidants only mop up free radicals at high concentrations that cannot be achieved by eating normal amounts of fruit and vegetables. Also, clinical trials of high- dose antioxidants have failed to show that they can prevent or treat these diseases.
So if not antioxidants, then what? Tellingly, antioxidants are part of a wider class of plant chemicals, called phytochemicals, that are toxic at high doses but beneficial at lower doses. These are probably natural pesticides that evolved to deter herbivores. The amounts we normally eat are insufficient to reach toxic concentrations in the human body, but are enough to activate our molecular stress responses. In other words they are hormetic stressors."
Full body article here: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health/mg19926681.700-when-a-little-poison-is-good-for-you.html. Subscription may be required.
A very interesting read that ties together diet, exercise, and even caloric restriction.
RE: Battling Cancer
It seems that God has left all kinds of little things around this Earth for us to use against these dread diseases.
My mother-in-law has stage IV squamous carcinoma of the neck and mouth. It looks like someone took a hammer to her neck and chin. The doctors have said they can't kill it. They can't even stop it.
But, several months ago, when we heard about her affliction and how far it had advanced when it was discovered, i.e., already into her lymphatic system, we began looking for out-of-the-box solutions; knowing what its presence in the lymphatic system meant. We found two things.
 Graviola; a broadleaf evergreen native to the Amazon rain forests. Purdue had done tests on it back in '97 and discovered that in vitro, it killed cancerous cells while leaving heathy cells alone.
[Note: As I understand things as they stand now, a major pharm company has patented a technique to extract the active agents, but has done nothing to advance this treatment. I am lead to understand that it is because they cannot develop a synthetic agent. And naturally occurring substances cannot be patented, i.e., there's no real money in it for them to advance the research any further.]
I had had a couple of occasions where I think I had squamous of the skin. Red bumps that would itch and not go away after several weeks. I'd go see the GPs and they'd freeze them off, never doing a biopsy. But doing research on the web, the images of squamous carcinoma of the skin I saw there were identical to what I had.
So as I was taking the graviola for other reasons (see below), I noticed that my arms and back began developing red bumps that would itch. They looked identical to the ones I’d had the doctors freeze off. But the itching was much more intense. However, instead of continuing to grow, these bumps would, after a few days, crust over with a scab and then the scab would slough off and there would be nothing left.
Interesting.....the implication being that these were sites of squamous carcinoma activity in my sking that my body would have dealt with in due time. But the graviola was taking the ‘fight’ into the teeth of this enemy.
 Sempervivum tectorum; common houseleek, a.k.a. Hen and Chicks, a decorative succulent houseplant that grows well in our semi-arid environment. Indeed, mom had recently given us some from her abundance to plan in our yard.
We began giving her the graviola tea when she moved in with us because her aged husband would not have been able to care for her as effectively.
So she had a series of radiation treatments because the doctors said it would slow the progression of the disease. We figured it would buy us some time.
The resulting mucositis, inflammation of the mucous membranes in her mouth from the abuse, caused her tongue to swell, develop open ulcerations and was painful to the point that she could not take in ANY food, including the Ensure-esque.
The morphine and other pain medications were NOT helping enough.
We prepared the Hen and Chicks treatment:
 Take a plant.
 Clean it of all dirt and stained, outer root tissue.
 Thoroughly wash with Everclear; to kill any residual bacteria and mold.
 Puree with distilled water.
 Refrigerate overnight; to let the active agent be extracted.
 Strain out solid matter.
 Put the extracted water into one of those sore-throat spritzers.
We applied that to her mouth, whenever she complained of pain.
Within 24 hours her tongue was not so swollen and much less painful and she could again put a straw into her mouth to take nourishment via those whole meal canned foods.
[Note: An odd thing about the fluid.....it doesn't seem to spoil over several days at room temperature. I'm wondering if there is an antiseptic component in there.]
Over the last week she has GAINED four pounds, is much more cheerful and has gone out of the house for walks. We're praying that the radiation treatments bought us enough time for the graviola to beat down the deadly disorder.
RE: Blackberries? Kuwel!!!!!
So now we have reports of black raspberries? EXCELLENT!!!!!! We've been wondering how we could vary her diet from the Ensure-esque materials. One of the ways we had decided upon was to add pureed fruit to the vanilla flavored stuff.
NOW you've pointed us towards a flavor we'll use.
P.S. Another interesting thing about the graviola. The indigenous populations use it to treat diabetes; I have it as a birthday gift from my Father. When I read that I ordered some to see if it were true.
....this stuff WORKS! At least for me. If I had a sugary dessert after dinner, I'd wake up with horrid night sweats; my pajamas would be soaked. And if I missed the toilet, that spot would be as sticky as though I'd spilled Mountain Dew there.
Not any more.
P.P.S. I like the Chambord idea. I'd forgotten about it being made from BLACK raspberries.