A study finds that eating 15 percent strawberries along with fruits and vegetables every day for five weeks may help in preventing and curing breast cancer.
The results, published in the open-access journal ‘Scientific Reports’, revealed that supplementing diet with strawberry extract had served to stop the propagation of cancer cells to adjacent healthy tissue.
“We have shown for the first time that strawberry extract, rich in phenolic compounds, inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo models,” said principal investigator Maurizio Battino from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.
The in vitro model used cells from the highly aggressive, invasive A17 tumour cell line; were treated with different concentrations (between 0.5 and 5 mg/ml) of extract of the Alba variety of strawberry, for periods of 24, 48 and 72 hours.
The results demonstrated that this decreased cell viability (dependent on dosage and time), blocked the cycle leading to cell division and inhibited migration.
It was also shown that strawberry extract reduced the expressi 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 is thought to suppress metastasis to the lymphatic ganglion in breast cancer patients.
The in vivo model used female laboratory mice, which at one month of age were divided into two groups: one was given a standard diet, while the other group was given an enriched diet, 15 percent of which was strawberry extract.
Another month later, all the mice were injected with A17 breast cancer A17 breast cancer cells.
The tumours were monitored twice weekly by palpation.
After five weeks, the tumours were extracted and analysed to evaluate their weight and volume.
“We also saw a significant reduction in the weight and volume of the tumour,” Battino noted.