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Berries of many colours

In a nutshell

Berries are one of the richest food sources of antioxidants.

There is quite a bit of animal and in vitro data supporting clinical applications for berries in chronic disease states such as cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease, and as an anti-microbial. A few human clinical trials are just now starting to appear.



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1. Stoner, GD. et al. Laboratory and clinical studies of cancer chemoprevention by antioxidants in berries. Carcinogenesis. 2008 Sep;29(9):1665–74.
2. Zafra-Stone, S. et al. Berry anthocyanins as novel antioxidants in human health and disease prevention. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):675–83.
3. Neto, CC. Cranberry and blueberry: evidence for protective effects against cancer and vascular diseases. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):652–64.
4. Bere, E. Wild berries: a good source of omega-3. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar;61(3):431–3.
5. Seeram, NP. Berry fruits for cancer prevention: current status and future prospects. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Feb 13;56(3):630–5.
6. Li, J. et al. Differential effects of black raspberry and strawberry extracts on BaPDE-induced activation of transcription factors and their target genes. Mol Carcinog. 2008 Apr;47(4):286–94.
7. Boivin, D. et al. Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and suppression of TNF-induced activation of NFkappaB by edible berry juice. Anticancer Res. 2007 Mar-Apr;27(2):937–48.
8. Seeram, NP. et al. Blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, and strawberry extracts inhibit growth and stimulate apoptosis of human cancer cells in vitro. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 13;54(25):9329–39.
9. Chung, MJ. et al. Inhibitory effect of whole strawberries, garlic juice or kale juice on endogenous formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine in humans. Cancer Lett. 2002 Aug 8;182(1):110.
10. Duthie, SJ. Berry phytochemicals, genomic stability and cancer: evidence for chemoprotection at several stages in the carcinogenic process. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):665–74.
11. Bobe, G. et al. Flavonoid consumption and esophageal cancer among black and white men in the United States. Int J Cancer. 2009 Sep 1;125(5):1147–54.
12. Tang, NP. et al. Flavonoids intake and risk of lung cancer: a meta-analysis. Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2009 Jun;39(6):352–9.
13. García-Closas, R. et al. Food, nutrient and heterocyclic amine intake and the risk of bladder cancer. Eur J Cancer. 2007 Jul;43(11):1731–40.
14. Shumway, BS. et al. Effects of a topically applied bioadhesive berry gel on loss of heterozygosity indices in premalignant oral lesions. Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Apr 15;14(8):2421–30.
15. Kresty, LA. et al. Transitioning from preclinical to clinical chemopreventive assessments of lyophilized black raspberries: interim results show berries modulate markers of oxidative stress in Barrett's esophagus patients. Nutr Cancer. 2006;54(1):148–56.
16. Sakagami, H. et al. Anti-stress, anti-HIV and vitamin C-synergized radical scavenging activity of mulberry juice fractions. In Vivo. 2007 May-Jun;21(3):499505.
17. Anthony, JP. et al. The effect of blueberry extracts on Giardia duodenalis viability and spontaneous excystation of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts, in vitro. Methods. 2007 Aug;42(4):339–48.
18. Chatterjee, A. et al. Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori in vitro by various berry extracts, with enhanced susceptibility to clarithromycin. Mol Cell Biochem. 2004 Oct;265(1–2):1926.
19. Helman, AD. Cranberries. Arb Clin Nutr Upd. 2009 July;310:14.
20. Ofek, I. et al. Anti-Escherichia coli adhesin activity of cranberry and blueberry juices. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1996;408:179–83.
21. Arroyo, FT. et al. Antifungal activity of strawberry fruit volatile compounds against Colletotrichum acutatum. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Jul 11;55(14):5701–7.
22. Heinonen, M. Antioxidant activity and antimicrobial effect of berry phenolics--a Finnish perspective. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):684–91.
23. Shukitt-Hale, B. et al. Berry fruit supplementation and the aging brain. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Feb 13;56(3):636–41.
24. Dai, Q. et al. Fruit and vegetable juices and Alzheimer's disease: the Kame Project. Am J Med. 2006 Sep;119(9):751–9.
25. Polidori, MC. et al. High fruit and vegetable intake is positively correlated with antioxidant status and cognitive performance in healthy subjects. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009 August;17(4):921–27.
26. Balk, E. et al. B vitamins and berries and age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Evid Rep Technol Assess (Full Rep). 2006 Apr;(134):1161.
27. Strömberg, I. et al. Blueberry- and spirulina-enriched diets enhance striatal dopamine recovery and induce a rapid, transient microglia activation after injury of the rat nigrostriatal dopamine system. Exp Neurol. 2005 Dec;196(2):298307.
28. Sweeney, MI. et al. Feeding rats diets enriched in lowbush blueberries for six weeks decreases ischemia-induced brain damage. Nutr Neurosci. 2002 Dec;5(6):427–31.
29. Papandreou, MA. et al. Effect of a polyphenol-rich wild blueberry extract on cognitive performance of mice, brain antioxidant markers and acetylcholinesterase activity. Behav Brain Res. 2009 Mar 17;198(2):352–8.
30. Galli, RL. et al. Blueberry supplemented diet reverses age-related decline in hippocampal HSP70 neuroprotection. Neurobiol Aging. 2006 Feb;27(2):344–50.
31. Casadesus, G. et al. Modulation of hippocampal plasticity and cognitive behavior by short-term blueberry supplementation in aged rats. Nutr Neurosci. 2004 Oct-Dec;7(5–6):309–16.
32. Goyarzu, P. et al. Blueberry supplemented diet: effects on object recognition memory and nuclear factor-kappa B levels in aged rats. Nutr Neurosci. 2004 Apr;7(2):7583.
33. Joseph, JA. et al. Blueberry antagonism of C-2 ceramide disruption of Ca2+ responses and recovery in MAChR-transfected COS-7 cell. J Alzheimers Dis. 2008 Nov;15(3):429–41.
34. Joseph, JA. et al. Blueberry supplementation enhances signaling and prevents behavioral deficits in an Alzheimer disease model. Nutr Neurosci. 2003 Jun;6(3):153–62.
35. Joseph, JA. et al. Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behavior. J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1813S–7S.
36. McGuire, SO. et al. Dietary supplementation with blueberry extract improves survival of transplanted dopamine neurons. Nutr Neurosci. 2006 Oct-Dec;9(5–6):251–8.
37. Krikorian, R. et al. Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults. Private communication.
38. Krikorian, R. et al. Concord grape juice supplementation improves memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Br J Nutr in press.
39. Naemura, A. et al. An experimentally antithrombotic strawberry variety is also effective in humans. Pathophysiol Haemost Thromb. 2006;35(5):398404.
40. Naemura, A. et al. Anti-thrombotic effect of strawberries. Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2005 Oct;16(7):501–9.
41. Mudnic, I. et al. Cardiovascular effects in vitro of aqueous extract of wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca, L.) leaves. Phytomedicine. 2009 May;16(5):462–9.
42. Russell, WR. et al. Availability of blueberry phenolics for microbial metabolism in the colon and the potential inflammatory implications. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):726–31.
43. Osman, N. et al. Probiotics and blueberry attenuate the severity of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis. Dig Dis Sci. 2008 Sep;53(9):2464–73.
44. Puupponen-Pimiä, R. et al. Berry phenolics selectively inhibit the growth of intestinal pathogens. J Appl Microbiol. 2005;98(4):9911000.
45. Devareddy, L. et al. Blueberry prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Oct;19(10):694–9.
46. Draelos, ZD. et al. An evaluation of the effect of a topical product containing C-xyloside and blueberry extract on the appearance of type II diabetic skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009 Jun;8(2):147–51.
47. Butot, S. et al. Procedure for rapid concentration and detection of enteric viruses from berries and vegetables. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Jan;73(1):186–92.
48. Tournas, VH. et al. Mould and yeast flora in fresh berries, grapes and citrus fruits. Int J Food Microbiol. 2005 Nov 15;105(1):11–7.
49. Robertson, LJ. et al. Occurrence of parasites on fruits and vegetables in Norway. J Food Prot. 2001 Nov;64(11):1793–8.
50. Butot, S. et al. Effects of sanitation, freezing and frozen storage on enteric viruses in berries and herbs. Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Aug 15;126(1–2):30–5.
51. Hutin, YJ. et al. A multistate, foodborne outbreak of hepatitis A. National Hepatitis A Investigation Team. N Engl J Med. 1999 Feb 25;340(8):595602.
52. Stensvand, A. et al. Investigation on fungicide residues in greenhouse-grown strawberries. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Mar;48(3):917–20.
53. Hu, R. et al. Solid phase microextraction of pesticide residues from strawberries. Food Addit Contam. 1999 Mar;16(3):111–7.
54. Meeker, JD. et al. Temporal variability of urinary levels of nonpersistent insecticides in adult men. J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2005 May;15(3):271–81.
55. Zuidmeer, L. et al. The role of profilin and lipid transfer protein in strawberry allergy in the Mediterranean area. Clin Exp Allergy. 2006 May;36(5):666–75.

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