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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

Strawberries slow growth of breast cancer—in the laboratory, at least
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Strawberries slow growth of breast cancer—in the laboratory, at least image

Strawberries could slow the spread of breast cancer. It's already known that eating between 10 and 15 of them has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and now researchers are hoping the fruit could also be a treatment for the cancer.

So far, an extract from the fruit has worked in the laboratory on cancer cells and in laboratory mice, but the researchers don't yet know if the same effects will be seen in cancer patients.

Researchers from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy used an extract from the Alba variety of strawberry, which is rich in phenolic compounds, on the most aggressive and invasive breast cancer cells.

It stopped the growth of the cells for up to 72 hours, the researchers say, and it also stimulated a gene that suppresses the spread to the lymphatic system, which can lead to the cancer developing in other parts of the body.

Not only was the spread of the cancer halted, the weight and volume of tumors was also "significantly reduced", the researchers said.

But they sound a note of warning: they can't be sure it would work in cancer patients. People are complex, as are cancers, and the concentration of the phenolic compounds—thought to be the active part in the fruit—varies from variety to variety.

Nonetheless, eating a healthy diet, that includes plenty of strawberries, is something every cancer patient should do, they say.


References

(Source: Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: doi: 10.1038/srep30917)

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