Adding blueberries to your diet may be a natural way to prevent colon cancer, according to researchers at Rutgers University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In a study of 18 rats with colon cancer, those fed a diet supplemented with blueberry compound pterostilbene had 57 percent fewer pre-cancerous lesions after eight weeks compared to the control group. Pterostilbene also inhibited genes involved in inflammation, which is thought to be a risk factor for colon cancer.
A past study has also found that blueberries are beneficial; when blueberry skins were fed to animals, their cholesterol was lowered. It’s thought that pterostilbene may prevent colon cancer by lowering lipids in your body.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, and are a good source of ellagic acid, which is known to block metabolic pathways that may lead to cancer. There are 30 different blueberry species native to North America.
Clinical Cancer Research, Vol. 13, No. 1, January 1, 2007: 350-355
Dr. Mercola’s Comment:
Blueberries are one of nature’s mightiest fruits. Their high antioxidant content makes them beneficial not only for colon cancer but also for preventing brain aging and urinary tract infections.
Adding blueberries to your ground meat before cooking it (ideally at low temperatures) is also an ideal way to prevent cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA) from forming.
Though blueberries are low in sugar, it’s best to eat them in moderation to keep your insulin levels from spiking.
As for colon cancer, now the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States, it’s considered one of the most preventable forms of cancer. There are several dietary factors, along with blueberries, that play a strong role in preventing this disease. They are:
- Selenium: Eating organic vegetables and whole apples is a good way to get plenty of selenium through your diet.
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): As little as 0.5 percent of CLA in your daily diet could reduce your risk of colon cancer by more than 50 percent. Good sources of CLA include grass-fed beef and raw grass-fed dairy products.
- Folate: Whole, raw vegetables are loaded with folate.
- Omega-3 fats: Eating plenty of high-quality omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, on a regular basis is essential for protecting your body from all types of cancer.
Other than dietary factors, you can also help to prevent colon cancer by exercising, maintaining a healthy body weight, and getting plenty of vitamin D, ideally from safe sun exposure.
To cut your risk of cancer even further, check out my major recommendations to cut your risk of cancer in half.