A number of studies have shown that blueberries, raspberries and other berries rich in natural pigments known as anthocyanins, which give them their deep colour, fight the inflammation that leads to ageing.
Now, new cancer research from the University of Eastern Finland shows that anthocyanins boost the function of an enzyme in cancer cells that fights cancer called sirtuin 6 enzyme (or SIRT6). Read on for the full scoop.
Sirtuins are enzymes that regulate the expression of genes and control the function of cells
Sirtuins do this through key cellular signalling pathways. As you age, the function of sirtuin in your body changes. These changes contribute to the development to numerous disease, including cancer
New cancer research finds that berries increase SIRT6 enzyme levels in colorectal cancer cells
The new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports
, found that cyaniding, an anthocyanin found abundantly in wild bilberry, blackcurrant and lingonberry, increased SIRT6 enzyme levels in human colorectal cancer cells.
The study team also found that it reduced the expression of two cancer genes, Twist11 and GLUT1. At the same time, cyaniding increased the expression of tumour
-suppressing FoXO3 gene cells.
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“The most interesting results of our study relate to cyanidin, which is an anthocyanin found abundantly in wild bilberry, blackcurrant and lingonberry,” said Minna Rahnasto-Rilla, lead author of the study.
This new cancer research
lays the foundation for the development of new cancer genes, concluded the team, led by Minna Rahnasto-Rilla.
Other studies have found that berries have heart health benefits, too
The benefits of eating berries don’t stop at fighting cancer. A study from the UK’s University of East Anglia found that people who ate the most blueberries and strawberries – three or more servings a week – cut their risk of a heart attack by one-third when compared to women who ate berries once a month or less.
Experts attribute the heart health benefits of berries to anthocyanins as well, which are said to prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
Keep your eyes peeled for more cancer research
on the benefits of berries!