Wild berries boost cancer treatment

By Efrosini Costa

Wild berries boost cancer treatment
Native to North America, these wild berries may aid cancer therapy, according to a study.

Chokeberries, or Aronia berries as they are also known, are tiny berries from wild natural shrubs found in wetlands and swamp areas in North America.

Packed with essential phyto-nuytrients, vitamins and antioxidants, the berries have recently grabbed the attention of the medical world.

Now a study, published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, suggests they could also play a role in boosting cancer treatments.

Researchers believe the fruit could work in combination with conventional drugs and assist in killing more cancer cells.

Extracts of the red and black berries were used on pancreatic cancer samples at Kings college Hospital in London.

Pancreatic cancer is particularly hard to treat and has an average survival period of six months post diagnosis.

But when the berry extract was used, together with conventional chemotherapy drugs, more cancer cells died than when the drug, gemcitabine, was used alone.

Scientists believe this is because of the polyphenols compounds found int he berries, which can help to reduce the number of harmful cells.

The same team carried out similar tests on brain cancer cells.

While the research is in its early stages, with more work needed to test the berries effectiveness in human trials, scientists say they will continue on with their research developing an experimental  supplement that could be used in cancer treatment.



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