Canadian researchers report that isolated compounds in cranberries called flavonoids may inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, when consumed in sufficient concentrations. These naturally occurring flavonoids may also help prevent other forms of cancer, including cancers of the prostate, colon, lung and brain.
The study was led by Peter Ferguson of the University of Western Ontario and suggests that the flavonoids may block the spread of estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells and cause the existing cancer cells to die. In his study, a cranberry extract inhibited breast cancer cell growth by 50%.
“We’ve known for a long time that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, coupled with regular exercise, is one of the most potent ways to protect the body against cancer. Our latest data suggest that cranberries may be an excellent source of cancer-preventive ingredients, and I would recommend including them as part of your regular diet,” said Ferguson.
Cranberries also contain compounds that may prevent a number of other conditions. Its effectiveness against the bacteria involved in urinary tract infections is well known. The same principle may also have promise against the various bacteria responsible for gum disease and stomach ulcers.
NewsRX, Jan 4, 2005