Berries have been recognized as a food with the potential to protect against some cancers in recent years leading to further evaluation of their potential health benefits. Catherine Neto at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, UK, looks into the potential of cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon).
Cranberry fruit contains a multitude of phytochemicals that have shown antiproliferative activities in tumor cell lines and other properties associated with chemoprevention. However, most of the data on berries and cancer have come from in vitro studies. Whether or not the compounds within cranberries would be bioavailable to cancer tissues can only be answered by in vivo research.
Catherine Neto summarizes what is known about cranberry’s potential chemopreventive properties, what is yet to be determined, and some factors to consider as research moves forward.