Breast Cancer: Blueberries May Help
A New Zealand specialist, Dr. Janyawat Vuthijumnonk, believes consumption of blueberries may help reduce the risk of getting breast cancer. Through animal studies, Dr. Vuthijumnonk attributes their success of fighting breast cancer to the phytochemicals in blueberries called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are the blue flavonoid pigment found in blueberries known to combat the 'bad' free radicals in addition to increasing the 'good' bacteria.
In the Massey University study, animals were either given blueberry juice or blueberry with fiber included (pomace form). The groups receiving blueberries collectively resulted in a 50% decrease rate of mammary tumors. However, the group of animals receiving the blueberries with fiber had smaller tumors and produced less of the dangerous circulating estrogen, which is key in cancer promotion. This aspect of the study highlighted the importance of fiber.
While the doctor was quick to point out that blueberry consumption may not benefit humans, she was able to concede that the risk of developing breast cancer certainly may be lowered from eating blueberries.
Breast cancer accounts for more than one in five of all types of cancers in New Zealand, and costs the most to treat.
In addition to consuming blueberries to prevent breast cancer, Dr. Vuthijumnonk suggested blueberries might be beneficial as a post-op supplement to speed and assist the healing process.