Researchers at Rutgers University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a joint study on animals, and found that a compound in blueberries called pterostilbene reduced pre-cancerous lesions and inhibited genes involved in inflammation. "This study underscores the need to include more berries in the diet, especially blueberries," said study leader Bandaru Reddy, Ph.D. The study was performed on 18 rats in which colon cancer had been induced in a manner similar to human colon cancer development. All of the animals were placed on a balanced diet, with half of the animals' diets supplemented with pterostilbene. After eight weeks, the rats fed pterostilbene had 57 percent fewer pre-cancerous colon lesions compared to the control group. The researchers also noted that pterostilbene inhibited certain genes involved in inflammation, considered a colon cancer risk factor. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. It has been linked to a high intake of saturated fats and calories common in Western diets. Pterostilbene may be able to reverse this process, possibly by lowering lipids, Reddy said. Reddy cited a recent study by co-author Agnes Rimando of the Department of Agriculture. Rimando demonstrated that blueberries, particularly their skins, can lower cholesterol when fed to animals. Some thirty different species of blueberries are native to North America. The berries are rich in anthocyanins, widely recognized for their antioxidant qualities. Blueberries are also a good source of ellagic acid, which blocks metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer.
Dr. Zach's Comments:
- Blueberries truly are one of God's great superfoods. Note that there are 30 different varieties of Blueberries in North America. Therefore, it's quite easy to find fresh local berries when in season.
- Eating foods grown locally has a tremendous effect on your health, not to mention the environment. Local foods are subject to the same environmental conditions that you are, and therefore could be very helpful in maintaining health and avoiding disease.
- And remember, eating blueberries to cure or even prevent colon cancer is not the point. The point is: if you eat a diet full of foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, your body will be truly healthy, and a healthy body doesn't get cancer.
- Here's a great smoothie recipe that my daughter loves:
Blueberry Peanut Butter Smoothie
1 Cup milk or rice milk
1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
1 tablespoon flax oil
1 scoop Fresh and Natural "Greens n Things" (superfood)
1/4 Cup peanut butter
1 Cup frozen Blueberries (fresh also works)
3/4 Cup Ice (use more ice if the blueberries are fresh)
begin mixing milk on lowest speed and and dry ingredients to prevent caking on side of blender canister. Stop blender and add peanut butter, flax oil, blueberries and ice. Blend on high until consistent. Enjoy!