Although the information is still limited, available information indicates that dietary intake of anthocyanins or anthocyanin-rich food can protect against different cancers, mainly of the gastrointestinal tract in human subjects, largely through their protection from oxidative DNA damage.
25 colorectal cancer patients received a standardized anthocyanin-rich extract from bilberry at doses from 0.5 to 2.0 g anthocyanins daily for 7 days. The proliferation in the tumor tissue of treated patients was decreased by 7% compared with preintervention values.
The low dose caused a small but non-significant reduction in circulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 concentrations.
An anthocyanin/polyphenol-rich fruit juice has been shown to reduce oxidative DNA damage and increase glutathione level during intervention compared to the control group who consumed a corresponding polyphenol-depleted juice.
Black raspberries contain high levels of anthocyanins and the chemoprevention of lyophilized black raspberries (LBRs) has been discussed towards oral, esophageal, and colon carcinogenesis in animal models. Interim results showed that daily consumption of LBRs for 6 months promoted reductions in the urinary excretion of two oxidative stress markers in Barrett’s esophagus patients.
Another investigation from the same laboratory was conducted on colon caner chemoprevention of black raspberry. Fifty subjects with colorectal cancer andor polyps consumed LRBs daily for 2–4 weeks before the surgery.
Biopsies of normal and tumor/polyp tissues are collected for biomarker analysis before and after berry treatment.
Their results showed that proliferation and angiogenesis biomarkers during the colon cancer development were reduced significantly by the berry treatment, whereas apoptosis was enhanced. However, epidemiological studies in humans have not shown that anthocyanin consumption could reduce cancer risks in humans.
Anthocyanin-rich berry fruits contain multiple bioactive phytochemicals, including polyphenols (flavonoids, phenolic acids, etc), stilbenoids, lignans, and triterpenoids.
The anticancer potential of berries can be attributed to the combined performance of those bioactive compounds, either in an additive, synergistic or inhibitory manner.
The major part of total antioxidant activity is from the combination of phytochemicals of fruits and vegetables, which is related to reduce the risk of developing cancer. The additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables are responsible for these potent antioxidant and anticancer activities.
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1. Regulation of synthesis and secretion
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