Blueberries Cut Cancer Risk More Than Half
A compound in blueberries may prevent colon cancer, according to a new joint study on animals by Rutgers University and the USDA. The compound, called pterostilbene, lessens precancerous lesions as well as suppresses genes involved in inflammation.
The scientists studied rats in which colon cancer similar to human cancer had been induced. All of the rats were fed a balanced diet, and half of them were also given pterostilbene supplements. After two months, the pterostilbene rats had 57 percent fewer pre-cancerous colon lesions and less inflammation.
Colon cancer, which is the number two cancer killer in the U.S., has been tied to the high intake of calories and saturated fats in Western diets. Pterostilbene may possibly reverse the process, perhaps by lowering lipids, said Bandaru Reddy, Ph.D., the leader of the study. He believes the blueberry compound helps to prevent the disease naturally.
Reddy cited other recent studies that showed additional benefits of blueberries, such as one that demonstrated that they can lower cholesterol and then added, “This study underscores the need to include more berries in the diet, especially blueberries.