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Cancer Fighting Berries

Do organic strawberries block human cancer cell growth in a Petri dish more than conventional berries?

October 13, 2008 |
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Supplementary Info

Sources Cited



This ranking of foods just by antioxidant level is, admittedly, an oversimplification. As reviewed recently in the Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences: “From Beans to Berries and Beyond: Teamwork between Plant Chemicals for Protection of Optimal Health.” Not only may phytonutrients work together, some have healthful properties beyond just their antioxidant power. Berries, for example, have antiproliferative effects on cancer cells—they can slow down cancer growth. These are the cervical cancer cells that killed this woman, Henrietta Lacks, 58 years ago, and they’re still growing, still multiplying. And adding an extract of blueberries doesn’t seem to matter much. The cancer cells are still steaming away at about 100% growth.

But look what these other fruits can do. Raspberries cut the growth in half, and strawberries blocked cancer growth by almost 75%. And the higher the strawberry dose, the more the cancer is inhibited. Ah, but which works better, conventional strawberries or… organic. At every single concentration and in single variety, organic beat our conventional—remember lower growth is better. And this was for both human colon cancer cells and human breast cancer cells.

Can’t you just rinse the pesticides off? Well, it’s better than nothing. New study looking at 3 pesticides; starts off at 100%. Rinsing only seems to take off about 15% of the pesticides. The only way to really cut down your dose is to peel the apple, eliminating about 85% of the pesticides, but also eliminating much of the nutrition as well, so eat organic whenever possible.

Organic produce has more vitamins more minerals taste better store better and, you get to not poison little babies—it’s a win-win!

Now you don’t necessarily have to eat the berries themselves for their benefits, you can eat the liver, eyes, or brains of berry fed pigs, but I’d stick with the berries.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

 For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer and DietHow Chemically Contaminated Are We?, and Strawberries Can Reverse Cancer Progression

  • adamholt

    Intriguing video. Thanks.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Lots more where that came from! :)

      More than a dozen more berry videos here.

  • Nicolas

    How much of this positive effects actually occurs inside humans? These are extracts applied directly to cancer cells, no? I’ve read that for example, anthocyanins don’t make it that far in our bodies (whether or not these are what gives the anti-cancer effect).

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Breast Cancer and Diet!

  • Diane Krstulovich

    At what point in your career did you choose medical research over comedy? (or maybe the jury is still out on that?) Always enjoyable. No, I don’t want to eat all those nasty parts of a pig. If the choice is between berries and ANYTHING, berries wins everytime. They are so delicious!

  • Carlo

    In the sources, there’s no reference for the organic/conventional comparison. Anyway, here it is:

  • Diane

    I love your blogs and information you send out. Very trusting site…
    I am curious about a product called Juice Plus+, headquartered in Memphis area . It has a nutrition facts label and are not vitamins. 25 whole raw vine ripe fruits and vegetables concentrated in capsule form. These bridge the gap between what people actually eat and what we should eat. Non gmo, gluten free, dairy free, kosher. What is your expert thoughts
    about this product?

  • Believer1

    Dr Greger,

    Thanks for your comments on berries. Quoting Dr. Otto Warburg, Nobel Prize winner 1934, stating that high fructose consumption stimulates cancer growth, everyone should no more that grams of fruit per day or aboutz4z
    strawberries. Could you comment on that line of reasoning, pls. Your
    comments would help all