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Anticancer Res. 2007 Mar-Apr;27(2):937-48.

Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and suppression of TNF-induced activation of NFkappaB by edible berry juice.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Médecine Moléculaire, Hôpital Ste-Justine-UQAM, Centre de Cancérologie Charles-Bruneau, Centre de Recherche de l'Hôpital Sainte-Justine, 3175, Chemin Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, Québec, Canada.



Berries contain several phytochemicals, such as phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins and other flavonoids. There has been growing interest in a variety of potential chemopreventive activities of edible berries. The potential chemopreventive activity of a variety of small berries cultivated or collected in the province of Québec, Canada were evaluated here.


Strawberry, raspberry, black currant, red currant, white currant, gooseberry, high-bush blueberry, low-bush blueberry, velvet leaf blueberry, serviceberry, blackberry, black chokeberry, sea buckthorn and cranberry were evaluated for antioxidant capacity, anti-proliferative activity, anti-inflammatory activity, induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.


The growth of various cancer cell lines, including those of stomach, prostate, intestine and breast, was strongly inhibited by raspberry, black currant, white currant, gooseberry, velvet leaf blueberry, low-bush blueberry, sea buckthorn and cranberry juice, but not (or only slightly) by strawberry, high-bush blueberry, serviceberry, red currant, or blackberry juice. No correlation was found between the anti-proliferative activity of berry juices and their antioxidant capacity (p > 0.05). The inhibition of cancer cell proliferation by berry juices did not involve caspase-dependent apoptosis, but appeared to involve cell-cycle arrest, as evidenced by down-regulation of the expression of cdk4, cdk6, cyclin D1 and cyclin D3. Of the 13 berries tested, juice of 6 significantly inhibited the TNF-induced activation of COX-2 expression and activation of the nuclear transcription factor NFkappaB.


These results illustrate that berry juices have striking differences in their potential chemopreventive activity and that the inclusion of a variety of berries in the diet might be useful for preventing the development of tumors.

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