Strawberries Found to Knock Down Breast Cancer in Mice

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Scientists from Europe and Latin America have shown that a certain type of strawberry extract fights invasive breast cancer cells in mice, both in experiments in test tubes and in experiments on the live mice.

The findings by Maurizio Battino and colleagues were published recently in the journal Scientific Reports.  Battino is a principal investigator at the Marche Polytechnic University (Italy) and European University of the Atlantic in Santander, Spain.

Credit: David Lenker/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

“Overall, we demonstrated that PRSE exerts important biological activities against a highly invasive breast cancer cell line both in vitro and in vivo suggesting the strawberry extracts as preventive/curative food strategy,” the authors reported in the abstract.

“We have shown for the first time that strawberry extract, rich in phenolic compounds, inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells in in vitro (test tube) and in vivo (in live bodies) models,” Battino said in a news release issued by Plataforma SINC (Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology).

Does this mean you should run out and stock up on strawberries to be sure to never to develop breast cancer? Unfortunately, no, it doesn’t work that way.

Related: Mediterranean Diet May Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

Not only do the researchers stress that experiments in animals cannot always be extrapolated to humans, but also that it’s a healthy overall diet that staves off disease, not any one fruit or vegetable.

“The majority of diseases, including cancer, are complex,” Battino said in the news release, “and involve complex interactions between cellular and molecular systems that determine the development of the disease.”

He said that while the study is “without a doubt valid for understanding potential effects of strawberries on breast cancer and the molecular mechanisms involved, but they must be complemented with clinical and epidemiological studies to verify whether humans experience the same positive effects as we have observed in mice.”

Related: These Herbs and Vegetables May Prevent Breast Cancer From Spreading

We do know strawberries, in general, are good for us. “Among fruits, there is growing interest in berries, and in particular strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.), due to their nutritional quality and to the numerous bioactive compounds they contain,” the authors write.

Compared with other non-berry fruits, the strawberry is a rich source of folate, vitamin C and several phytochemicals that can influence the nutritional and organoleptic qualities of this fruit.”

According to the Plataforma SINC news release, previous studies have shown that consuming between 10 and 15 strawberries per day “offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and reduces blood cholesterol levels.”

A professional journalist nearly 30 years, David Heitz started his career at the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa before moving to Los Angeles. He led the Glendale News-Press to best small daily newspaper in the state (CNPA) as managing editor and also worked as executive news editor of the Press-Telegram. He worked briefly as deputy news editor of the Detroit News before returning to the Quad-Cities, where he has worked as a freelance medical writer since 2012 for several national websites. He recently purchased his childhood home and says he truly is “living the dream.”