Raspberries have relatively high antioxidant content. The berries are also rich in phenolic phytochemicals, including ellagic acid, cyanidin-3-glucoside, quercetin, rutin, and delphinidin, all of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive, antiproliferative and proapoptic effects. Raspberries are also a source of salicylic acid. Black raspberries appear have more cancer-preventative chemicals than the closely-related red raspberries.
Breast cancer-related effects of eating raspberries
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.
Ellagic acid, found in raspberries (mostly in the tiny seeds), has been shown to inhibit breast cancer in 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.
Delphinidin, an anthocyanin found in raspberries, 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. Cyandin-3-glucoside has been shown to possess both chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activity and to enhance the treatment effects of Herceptin.
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.
Rutin, a flavonoid glycoside found in both red and black raspberries (but more abundant in black varieties) may reduce the cardiotoxic effects of Adriamycin.
Non-organic raspberries must be washed very thoroughly to remove pesticide residue. Loganberries are a hybrid cross between between a blackberry and a raspberry.
Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list, including less recent studies, please click on raspberries.