compound found in blueberries, may prevent the development of tumors in the
colon, a new study suggests.
Researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey explored the role of types of dietary fat, pterostillbene and other food components in colon cancer prevention.
The study found that rats supplemented with pterostilbene had 57 percent fewer pre-cancerous lesions in the colon than rats not supplemented with the blueberry compound.
In the small pilot study, 18 rats were given a compound (azoxymethane) to induce colon cancer in a manner similar to human colon cancer development. Half of the animals were then placed on a balanced daily diet, while the other nine were given the same diet supplemented with pterostilbene (40 parts per million).
At the end of an eight-week study period, researchers reported that the pterostilbene-supplemented rats showed fewer pre-cancerous lesions in their colon in comparison to the control group. They also report that the blueberry compound reduced colonic cell growth and inhibited certain genes involved in inflammation, both of which are considered colon cancer risk factors.
In a related study, blueberry's cholesterol-lowering activity was investigated. Researchers reported that hamsters that were fed a high-cholesterol diet containing blueberry skins (7.6 percent of the diet) had lower levels of plasma and liver triglycerides (TGs), LDL-cholesterol, free and total cholesterol of 39, 18, 19, 30 and 37 percent, respectively, compared to animals fed the control diet.
Integrative therapies with strong or good scientific evidence in the prevention or treatment of colon cancer include vitamin A, probiotics, psychotherapy and selenium. For more information on integrative therapies for colon cancer, please visit Natural Standard’s Medical Conditions database.