Blueberries are known as “superfood” with lots of health benefits. One of its significant benefits that have just been discovered is that blueberries could help treat cancer by killing the cancerous cells.
The findings of the study were published in Pathology and Oncology Research. The study was led by Dr. Yujiang Fang from the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia and other colleagues. The researchers combined the blueberry extract with radiation therapy in human cells with cervical cancer resulting in an improved treatment efficacy, according to Medical News Today.
Dr. Fang said that in their previous studies, they discovered that red grapes could be used as a radiosensitizer for prostate cancer and melanoma. With this, it is very easy to say that other fruits or vegetables might have the same function. He further said that they found that some studies have already shown that blueberries might have the anticancer function, but it was not studied in cervical cancer.
Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid known as anthocyanin, which is responsible for the blue color of the blueberries. Flavonoids also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that have lots of health benefits. This superfood also contains calcium, phosphorous, iron, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K that are good for the building and maintaining the structure and strength of the bones, according to Medical News Today.
Radiation therapy, the traditional treatment method, does destroy cancer cells but it also kills healthy cells in the vicinity. Blueberry extract can help radiation target cancer cells. https://t.co/xtCl14C3LI @CBCQuirks
— CBC Radio (@cbcradio) January 6, 2018
In the study, the researchers tested the blueberry extract alone and in combination with radiation therapy in human cancer cell lines. The results showed that the blueberry extract alone had a 25 percent reduction in cancer cells. Meanwhile, in radiation therapy alone, it had a 20 percent reduction in cancer cells. In combining both blueberry extract and radiation therapy, there was about 70 percent reduction of the human cervical cancer cells.
Dr. Fang said that cancer cells prevent death by remodeling themselves. He further said that along with reducing cell proliferation, the extract also tricks cancer cells into dying. With this, it prevents the birth and promotes the death of cancer cells, according to Dr. Fang.
In this study, the researchers said that their findings suggest that blueberries could be a promising treatment strategy for cervical cancer and other types of cancer.