Red raspberries and cancer: benefits of ellagic acid
Red raspberry is most often the source of a dietary supplement sold in many health food stores called ellagic acid. This substance found naturally in raspberries belongs to the family of phytonutrients called tannins, and it is viewed as being responsible for a good portion of the antioxidant activity of this (and other) berries.
Antimicrobial and Anticarcinogenic Protection and Phytonutrients for Antioxidant:
As a powerful antioxidant food ellagic acid, in raspberries help prevents damage to cell membranes and diverse structures in the body neutralizing free radicals. Ellagic acid is not the uniquely well researched phytonutrient component of raspberries. Raspberry's flavonoid content is well documented. The key substances are: quercetin, kaempferol, and a cyanidin-based molecule known as cyanidin-3-glucosylrutinoside and cyanidin-3-rutinoside. The mentioned flavonoid molecules are classified as anthocyanins, belonging to the group of substances that give raspberries their intense red color. Raspberries anthocyanins give these delicious berries unique antioxidant attributes, as well as many antimicrobial ones, including the power to prevent overgrowth of some bacteria and fungi in the body (such as, the yeast Candida Albicans, which is a frequently presentin vaginal infections and could be a contributing factor in irritable bowel syndrome IBS).
Extensive research suggests that raspberries may have cancer protective properties. Experiments in animals have suggested that raspberries have the function to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and tumor formation in different parts of the body, including the colon, liver and kidneys
Antioxidants peculiar to raspberries give powerful protection.
Raspberries have almost 60% higher antioxidant power than strawberries, three times of kiwis, and more than ten times the antioxidant activity of tomatoes! Research conducted in Holland and published in the journal BioFactors confirm this.
The largest contribution to raspberries' antioxidant potency is ellagitannins, a group of compounds almost unique in the raspberry, being reported to have anti-cancer properties. Vitamin C is about 20% of the total antioxidant capacity, with up to 30 milligrams in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of the fruit. Raspberries anthocyanins, particularly cyanidin and pelagonidin glycosides, make up a further 25%. More great news: freezing and preserving raspberries does not significantly impair their antioxidant activity, however in this study, the concentration of vitamin C was cut by 50%by the freezing process.
Vitamins, minerals and atioxidants.
In addition to their special phytonutrient content, raspberries are full of traditional nutrients, primarily in the antioxidant and B vitamin classes. Raspberries stand out from the nutrient ranking system as a great source of manganese and vitamin C, two importat antioxidant nutrients that aid protecting the body's tissue from oxygen-related problems. They are also a good source of riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium and copper. Together with this high B vitamin and mineral yield, raspberries qualified as "superior" in terms of fiber supplementation. This compound of nutrients makes raspberries an excellent fruit choice with a small impact on blood sugars.
Delivering optioml health.
Research available in "Cancer Letters" suggest one reason why diets high in fruit prevent cancer: raspberries, blackberries and muscadine grapes inhibit metalloproteinase enzymes. Essential for the development and remodelling of tissues in the body, if produced in abnormally, these enzymes play a significant role in cancer development by conferring a mechanism for its intrusion and progression.
Protection against macular degeneration.
Data reported in a study published in the Journal of Ophthalmology suggests eating 3 or more servings of fruit per daily lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), which is the primary cause of loss of sight in older individuals, by 35%, compared to people who consume less than 2.0 servings of fruit per day.
The study, which involved more than 110,000 women and men, doctors studied the effect of participants' consumption of fruits, vegetables, vitamins A, C, and E, and carotenoids on the development of ARMD or neovascular ARMD, a severe form of the condition associated with loss of sight. While, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not particularly related to occurrence of either form of ARMD; fruit intake was very protective against severe form of sight-destroying conditions. Three servings of fruit may sound a lot to eat each daily, but raspberries will help achieving it. Add to your morning breakfast or lunch yogurt or soft cheese with fresh red-raspberries.
Description of the fruit.
Raspberries are known as "aggregate fruits" because they are a compound of smaller seed containing fruits, known as drupelets, arranged around a hollow central cavity. The shape conveys to them a delicate, almost "dissolve-in-your-mouth" texture. They are sweet with a light tart overtone. The most common type of raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is red-pink in color, raspberries actually come in diffrent colors including black, purple, orange, yellow and white.
Raspberries and history.
Raspberries can trace back to prehistoric ages. Wild raspberries are thought originated in Asia, there are also varieties native to the Western Hemisphere. The seeds of these raspberries were carried by humans or animals that came across the Bering Straight during early times.
The spread of wild raspberries through the globe may have occurred in similar marres. The pre-hystoric hunter-gatherers traveled log distances to provide food. On their journeys back to thir settlements they would dispose what they considered to be inferior foods, together with the smaller size raspberries. In this way began the propagation of these fruits in other areas.
Evidence that raspberries were cultivated until this millennia is difficult to prove, with the first written record being found in an book on herbal medicine dated 1548. Raspberries were grown widely in Europe and North America in the beginning of the 19th century and several new varieties like the loganberry and boysenberry were planted by either accidental or intentional cross-breeding. Today, the largest commercial producers of raspberries include the United States, Russia, Poland, Germany, Yugoslavia, and Chile.
The Food Rating System Chart:
The chart below Illustrates the nutrients for which this food is either excellent, very good or good. Next to the name you will find the amount of the nutrient included in the suggested serving for this food: the % (percentage) Daily Value (DV) that the amount illustrates (like to other information in the website, the DV is calculated for 25 to 50 year old woman); the density rating; lastly the food's World's Healthiest Foods Rating. Below the chart is a table summarising how the ratings were formulated. Read the detailed on our Food and Recipe Rating System.
Nutrient Amount DV
Density World's Healthiest
copper 0.10 mg 5.0 1.5 good
manganese 1.24 mg 62.0 18.5 excellent
vitamin C 30.76 mg 51.3 15.3 excellent
dietary fiber 8.34 g 33.4 10.0 excellent
magnesium 22.14 mg 5.5 1.7 good
vitamin B3 (niacin) 1.10 mg 5.5 1.6 good
potassium 186.96 mg 5.3 1.6 good
omega 3 fatty afolate 31.98 mcg 8.0 2.4 good
vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 0.12 mg 7.1 2.1
goodcids 0.12 g 5.0 1.5 good World's Healthiest
Foods Rating Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%
Beekwilder J, Hall RD, de Vos CH. Identification and dietary relevance of antioxidants from raspberry. Biofactors. 2005;23(4):197-205. 2005. PMID:16498206.
Cho E, Seddon JM, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Prospective study of intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and carotenoids and risk of age-related maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;122(6):883-92. 2004. PMID:15197064.
Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California 1983.
Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986 1986. PMID:15210.
Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York 1996.
Huang C, Huang Y, Li J et al. Inhibition of benzo(a)pyrene diol-epoxide-induced transactivation of activated protein 1 and nuclear factor kappaB by black raspberry extracts. Cancer Res 2002 Dec;62(23):6857-63 2002.
Liu M, Li XQ, Weber C et al. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of raspberries. J Agric Food Chem 2002 May 8;50(10):2926-30 2002. Wang SY, Jiao H. Scavenging capacity of berry crops on superoxide radicals, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen. J Agric Food Chem 2000 Nov;48(11):5677-84 2000. PMID:13800.
Wang SY, Lin HS. Antioxidant activity in fruits and leaves of blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry varies with cultivar and developmental stage. J Agric Food Chem 2000 Feb;48(2):140-6 2000. PMID:13820.
Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988 1988. PMID:15220.
Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Concentrations of Anthocyanins in Common Foods in the United States and Estimation of Normal Consumption. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 May 31;54(11):4069-4075. 2006. PMID:16719536.
Rauha JP, Remes S, Heinonen M, et al. Antimicrobial effects of Finnish plant extracts containing flavonoids and other phenolic compounds. Int J Food Microbiol 2000 May 25;56(1):3-12 2000. PMID:13810.
Seeram NP, Momin RA, Nair MG, Bourquin LD. Cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant cyanidin glycosides in cherries and berries. Phytomedicine 2001 Sep;8(5):362-9 2001. PMID:13780.
Tate P, God J, Bibb R, Lu Q, Larcom LL. Inhibition of metalloproteinase activity by fruit extracts. Cancer Lett. 2004 Aug 30;212(2):153-8. 2004. PMID:15279895.
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