In case you needed another reason to eat strawberries, one other than the fact that they’re delicious, a new study has shown that they have powerful anti-cancer properties. The study was published in Scientific Reports. Researchers noted that a diet rich in strawberries can potentially prevent or treat breast cancer.
During the study, mice were divided into two groups. One group was fed a standard diet, while the other group was fed an enriched diet consisting of 15% strawberry extract. After one month, all of the mice were injected with A17 breast cancer cells. The tumors were then monitored biweekly. After five weeks, the tumors were extracted. Researchers analyzed the weight and volume of each tumor. They found that the strawberry extract supplemented diet stopped the propagation of cancer cells. The tumors in the mice that were fed this diet were significantly smaller in both weight and volume.
The cells from the A17 tumors were treated with various concentrations of Alba strawberry extract for periods of 24, 48 and 72 hours. Researchers found that all of the cells demonstrated decreased cell viability. The amount of the change was dependent on the dosage and time. The strawberry extract also reduced the expression of several genes associated with the invasion and metastasis of the cancer cells.
Maurizio Battino, the co-author of the study, explained, “We have shown for the first time that strawberry extract, rich in phenolic compounds, inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells in in vitro and in vivo models.”
The Health Benefits Of Strawberries
While the study was conducted using strawberry extract, consuming fresh strawberries can still improve your overall health. Strawberries contain many antioxidants, along with essential nutrients and vitamins, including potassium, manganese and magnesium. They’re also loaded with Vitamin C, which gives your immune system a healthy boost.
Studies have shown that consuming strawberries on a regular basis can reduce blood pressure levels by reducing the negative effects of sodium in the body. Strawberries are often recommended for diabetic patients. They’re low on the glycemic food index and they help regulate blood sugar levels. A Harvard study found that regular consumption of anthocyanins – flavonoids found in berries – can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 32% in young and middle-aged women.
While the cancer study was conducted on mice, researchers are hopeful that humans may see similar effects. Battino explained, “These results are without a doubt valid for understanding potential effects of strawberries on breast cancer and the molecular mechanisms involved, but they must be complemented with clinical and epidemiological studies to verify whether humans experience the same positive effects as we have observed in mice.”