New research from the University of Helsinki has indicated that blueberries could help prevent breast cancer. University of Helsinki Docent Anna-Maria Pajari described the preliminary research as promising, but said the majority of the tests to date have been performed on animals, with only a small percentage being on humans.
Positive results have been recorded in relation to common cancers such as cancer of the large intestine as well as prostatic and breast cancer. Pajari explained that the medicinal qualities found in highbush blueberries have been studied extensively and appear to be particularly effective against breast cancer, something she referred to as good news for Finns as they eat a lot of blueberries.
The docent noted that different kinds of berries have different cancer preventative qualities, and that the Rose Family appear to be the most effective berries at present. She said strawberries, raspberries, rose hips, cloudberries and highbush berries all seem to be beneficial.
Pajari went on to say berries contain many useful substances that can help prevent cancer. She explained that the vitamins and roughage both help combat cancer, while compounds called polyphenols also help. She admitted, however, that they are still unsure whether it is one compound or a combined effect of the compounds that causes the preventative qualities.
She also revealed that there are still some berries that haven’t been studied yet, pointing out that she can’t recall research being done on cranberries. She added that it is important to carry out research on cancer patients and find out if berries can be used in treatment.