A study on mice has yielded promising results about the potential benefits of strawberries in preventing or treating breast cancer. Credit SINC
Cris De Lacerda
21 Abril, 2017, 03:01
Researchers from Europe and Latin America have shown that strawberry extract can inhibit the spread of laboratory-grown breast cancer cells, even when the cells are inoculated in female mice to induce tumors.
The cancer cells used in the experiments were from a highly aggressive and invasive strain. The researchers treated it with different concentrations between 0.5 and five mg/ml of extract of the Alba strawberry, for periods of 24, 48 and 72 hours.
Professor Caroline Springer, from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, who co-led the research, said: "We knew that LOX had a role in cancer's spread round the body, but to discover how it also appears to drive the growth of chest cancer cells is a real game changer".
The study also showed that strawberry extract reduced the expression of several genes involved in the process of invasion and metastasis, including Csf1, Mcam, Nr4a3 and Set.
At the same time, one gene believed to suppress the spread of breast cancer, Htatip2, became more active.
This suggests that strawberry extracts may serve as an effective preventive and curative food intervention for breast cancer in people.
Strawberries have been found to have many health benefits.
Previous studies have already shown that eating between 10 and 15 strawberries a day can make arteries healthier by reducing blood cholesterol levels. Now new research has shown that strawberries also have remarkable cancer fighting properties. An 18-year British study of nearly 93,600 women found that those who ate the most blueberries and strawberries - three or more servings a week - reduced their risk of a heart attack by a third when compared to women who ate berries once a month or less.
After five weeks on a strawberry-boosted diet, the mice showed no sign of progressing cancer spread and their tumours had shrunk.
The in vivo model used female laboratory mice, which at one month of age were divided into two groups: one was given a standard diet, while the other group was given an enriched diet, 15% of which was strawberry extract.
Dr Maurizio Battino, from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, said: 'We saw a significant reduction in the weight and volume of the tumor'.
Phenolic plant compounds in the fruits are thought to be responsible for the beneficial effects.
"The majority of diseases, including cancer, are complex and involve complex interactions between cellular and molecular systems that determine the development of the disease", Battino said.
Researchers from the University of the Americas in Ecuador and the International Iberoamerican University in Mexico also participated in the study.