Raspberries (Rubus idaeus) have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Raspberries are a very good source of cyanidin-3-glucoside, ellagic acid, pelargonidin, and salicylic acid, and a good source of dietary fiber and rutin, all of which have been shown to have chemopreventive properties.
Raspberries are also a source of malvidin and quercetin. Black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis) appear have higher levels of most chemopreventive micronutrients than red raspberries.

Breast cancer-related effects of eating raspberries

Berry consumption is associated with reduced breast cancer risk. Raspberries are a source of a variety of compounds with anti-cancer activities, including micronutrients that have been shown to increase the beneficial effects of breast cancer treatment.

Animal studies

Raspberry powder has been shown to have antiproliferative effects when fed to female rats prone to mammary tumors. Studies that have compared blueberry and black raspberry diets in rats have found that while blueberries result in lower tumor volume than black raspberries, black raspberries are more effective in delaying the first appearance of tumors in rats implanted with estradiol (E2).

Raspberry anthocyanins

Raspberries are a rich source of a variety of anthocyanins, most importantly cyanidin, pelargonidin, and malvidin. These are closely-related plant pigments with chemopreventive properties that give the berries their rich color. Women in the highest quartile (fourth) of anthocyanin intake had significantly lower risk of breast cancer than those in the lowest quartile in one study. Anthocyanins have also been demonstrated to reduce Adriamycin (doxorubicin) chemotherapy-induced heart damage.
Cyanidins such as cyandin-3-glucoside have been reported to suppress angiogenesis by inhibiting tumor cell proliferation and migration. Cyandin-3-glucoside has been shown to reduce HER2+ cell proliferation and interfere with the viability and metastatic potential of triple negative (ER-/PR-/HER2-) breast cancer cells. Cyandin-3-glucoside has also been shown to enhance the treatment effects of Herceptin in HER2+ breast cancer cells.
Pelargonidin has been shown inhibit the growth of ER+/PR+ breast cancer cells. High dietary intake of malvidin has been reported to be associated with reduced levels of systemic inflammation (as measured by CRP). Malvidin has also been shown to reduce the growth and proliferation of ER+/PR+ breast cancer cells.

Ellagic acid

Ellagic acid, found in raspberries (mostly in the tiny seeds), has also been shown to reduce proliferation of ER+/PR+ breast cancer cells. In addition, ellagic acid has been found to be effective in the prevention of estrogen-induced mammary tumors in rats.
In fact, ellagic acid has been shown to inhibit breast cancer in a variety of cell and animal studies, in part by inhibiting angiogenesis. Cancer cells induce angiogenesis during the early stages of tumor development — this is a crucial step that separates preinvasive and dormant forms of cancer from invasive and metastatic malignant growth.
Ellagic acid has also been found to increase the sensitivity of ER+/PR+ breast cancer cells to radiation while reducing damage to normal cells, thereby potentially enhancing the treatment effects of radiotherapy.

Additional comments

Non-organic raspberries must be washed very thoroughly to remove pesticide residue. Loganberries are a hybrid cross between between blackberries and raspberries.

Raspberry supplements

The safety and efficacy of raspberry seed and raspberry ketone supplements has not been established. Raspberry seed preparations with heavy concentrations of ellagitannins or ellagic acid are likely to be less effective than formulations that are simple concentrates of the fruit. There is a lack of information regarding whether ellagic acid is safe or possible side effects if it is used over an extended period of time.
Raspberry ketone (also known as rheosmin or frambinone) is the main aroma compound of raspberry fruit. A raspberry ketone supplement administered to rats at high doses was suspected to have toxic potential (in the form of cardiotoxic effects and effects on reproduction/development) in one study. Another report pointed out that the levels of raspberry ketones in dietary supplements sold in the U.S. exceed the maximum recommended for food and fragrance products. The bottom line is that additional toxicology studies are required to determine safe concentrations of raspberry supplements.

Sources of information provided in this webpage

The information above, which is updated continually as new research becomes available, has been developed based solely on the results of academic studies. Clicking on any of the underlined terms will take you to its tag or webpage, which contain more extensive information.
Below are links to 20 recent studies concerning this food and its components. For a more complete list, including less recent studies, please click on raspberries.