Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) have relatively high antioxidant content. Cranberries have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, neuroprotective, cardioprotective and cholesterol-lowering properties. Cranberries are a significant source of proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins such as delphinidin, as well as enterolactone, quercetin, resveratrol, myricetin, ursolic acid and ellagic acid. Cranberries are also a source of caffeic acid acid and salicylic acid. Cranberry extracts have been shown to inhibit the growth and proliferation of breast, brain, skin, lung, gastric, colon, and prostate tumors.
Breast cancer-related effects of eating cranberries
Cranberries have been shown to have antiproliferative activity against cancer in vitro and in vivo and to induce apoptosis. When fed to mice bearing human breast cancer cells, cranberry presscake (the material remaining after squeezing juice from the berries) has been shown to decrease the growth and metastasis of the tumors.
Quercetin has been shown to increase the effectveness of both Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and Taxol (paclitaxel) chemotherapy in multidrug resistant ER+/PR+ breast cancer cells, in part by eliminating cancer stem cells.
Delphinidin, an anthocyanin found in cranberries, has been shown to block epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer cells. (EGFR, which is expressed at high levels in at least 30% of breast cancers, is associated with a poor prognosis.) Delphinidin was shown to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in HER2+ breast cancer cells in another study.
Cranberries are also a good source of resveratrol, which has been shown to increase the effects of radiation treatment, aromatase inhibitors and the chemotherapy drugs Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and Taxol (paclitaxel) against breast cancer.
Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) are a close relative of cranberries.
Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list, including less recent studies, please click on cranberries.