A pint of strawberries a day can stave off breast cancer

AtnoYdur via Getty Images

AtnoYdur via Getty Images

A team from Marche Polytechnic University in Italy used mice to get their results, adding an extract from the Alba strawberry to the diets of female rodents who had breast cancer tumours.

The cancer cells used in the experiments were from a highly aggressive and invasive strain. The cells were treated with different concentrations of strawberry extract for periods of 24, 48 and 72 hours.

The results showed that the decreased cell viability, which is dependent on dosage and time, blocked the cycle leading to cell division and inhibited migration.

It was also shown that strawberry extract reduced the expression of several genes involved in the processes of invasion and metastasis, such as Csf1, Mcam, Nr4a3 and Set.

The extract simultaneously stimulated expression of the gene Htatip2, which many believe can suppress metastasis to the lymphatic ganglion in breast cancer patients.

Strawberries have been found to have many health benefits. Now, a new study published in the open-access journal 'Scientific Reports' presents promising results on the potential positive effects of the fruit to prevent or treat breast cancer. An 18-year British study of nearly 93,600 women found that those who ate the most blueberries and strawberries - three or more servings a week - reduced their risk of a heart attack by a third when compared to women who ate berries once a month or less.

Recent studies have shown that strawberries might be the next miracle fruit to cut down breast-cancer risk as the extracts are found to prevent growth of carcinogenic cells and reduce tumour size.

They then monitored the tumors two times a week by palpation and after five weeks, the tumors were extracted and analyzed to evaluate their weight and volume.

Dr Maurizio Battino, from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, said: "We. saw a significant reduction in the weight and volume of the tumour".

Researchers from the University of the Americas in Ecuador and the International Iberoamerican University in Mexico also participated in the study. However, these findings must be complemented with clinical and epidemiological studies aimed at verifying whether people experience the same positive effects as the researchers have observed in mice.

"The majority of diseases, including cancer, are complex", he explains, "and involve complex interactions between cellular and molecular systems that determine the development of the disease".

The researchers also said that the concentration of phenolic compounds can vary greatly between varieties of strawberry.