alternatives treatment of autoimmune disease read our e-book
Brazilian berry destroys cancer cells in lab.
A Brazilian berry popular in health food contains antioxidants that destroyed cultured human cancer cells.Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,
the study showed extracts from acai (ah-SAH’-ee) berries triggered a
self-destruct response in up to 86 percent of leukemia cells tested,
said Stephen Talcott, an assistant professor with UF’s Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences.
“Acai berries are already considered one of the richest fruit
sources of antioxidants,” Talcott said. “This study was an important
step toward learning what people may gain from using beverages,
dietary supplements or other products made with the berries.”
“This was only a cell-culture model and we don’t want to give anyone
false hope,” Talcott said. “We are encouraged by the findings,
however. Compounds that show good activity against cancer cells in a
model system are most likely to have beneficial effects in our
Other fruits, including grapes, guavas and mangoes, contain
antioxidants shown to kill cancer cells in similar studies, he said.
Experts are uncertain how much effect antioxidants have on cancer
cells in the human body, because factors such as nutrient
absorption, metabolism and the influence of other biochemical
processes may influence the antioxidants’ chemical activity.
Acai berries are produced by a palm tree known scientifically as
Euterpe oleracea, common in floodplain areas of the Amazon River,
Talcott said. When ripe, the berries are dark purple and about the
size of a blueberry. They contain a thin layer of edible pulp
surrounding a large seed.
Historically, Brazilians have used acai berries to treat digestive
disorders and skin conditions, he said. Current marketing efforts by
retail merchants and Internet businesses suggest acai products can
help consumers lose weight, lower cholesterol and gain energy.
In the current UF study, six different chemical extracts were made
from acai fruit pulp, and each extract was prepared in seven
Four of the extracts were shown to kill significant numbers of
leukemia cells when applied for 24 hours. Depending on the extract
and concentration, anywhere from about 35 percent to 86 percent of
the cells died.
But familiar produce items have plenty of health-giving qualities,
“Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with
decreased risk for many diseases, including heart disease and
cancer,” said Bomser, who researches the effects of diet on chronic
diseases. “Getting at least five servings a day of these items is
still a good recommendation for promoting optimal health.”
Journal reference: Journal of Applied Toxicology (vol 24, p5)