Submitted to: Journal of Medicinal Food
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/11/2004
Publication Date: 4/1/2004
Citation: Smith, S.H., Tate, P.L., Huang, G., Magee, J.B., Meepagala, K.M., Wedge, D.E., Larcom, L.L. 2004. Antimutagenic activity of berry extracts. Journal of Medicinal Food. 7:450-455. Interpretive Summary: The paper demonstrates that juice from strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry significantly inhibit mutagenesis. Phytochemicals from several small fruits may play an important role in the human diet in preventing genetic damage that can lead to cancer. No claims concerning caner cures are made in this paper.
Technical Abstract: Plants are proven sources of useful antitumor and chemopreventative compounds. Hence, identification of phytochemicals useful in dietary prevention and intervention of cancer is of paramount importance. The initial step in the formation of cancer is damage to the genome of a somatic cell producing a mutation in an oncogene or a tumor-suppressor gene. Fresh juices and organice solvent extracts from the fruits of strawberry, blueberry and raspberry were evalutated for their ability to inhibit the production of mutations by the direct-acting mutagen methyl methanesulfonate and the metabolically activated carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene. Juice from strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry fruit significantly inhibited mutagenesis caused by both carcinogens. Subsequent ethanol extracts from freeze dried fruits of strawberry cultivars, Sweet Charlie and Carlsbad and blueberry cultivars, Tifblue and Premier were also tested. Of these, the hydrolysable tannin-containing fraction from Sweet Charlie strawberries was most effective at inhibiting mutations.