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Berries are a powerhouse of good things. They carry antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help the body prevent cancer and keep the mind energized. The following is a more detailed description of the health benefits of our berries.

Black Raspberries

What is known to scientific fact is that damage by oxygen free radicals is a contributing factor in many of the problems associated with aging, particularly cardiovascular disease and cancer. Oxygen free radicals attack DNA, causing cell mutation that in turn prevents natural cell death. Antioxidants, such as ORAC, have an innate ability to seek and destroy oxygen free radicals. This is why foods that have high ORAC values, such as the potent black raspberry, are so essential to a healthy daily diet.

Generally speaking, dark-colored berries are naturally high in flavonoids and phenolics (such as anthocyanins and ellagic acid, making them strong antioxidants. This is particularly true in the case of black raspberries -- they contain almost twice the amount of phenolic content found in other berries.

Studying the natural chemopreventive properties of black raspberries, Dr. Gary Stoner of Ohio State University reported findings that may support a food-based approach to cancer prevention. In the study, freeze-dried black raspberries inhibited colon cancer by about 50 percent when added to the diets of rodents that has been chemically treated with carcinogens. This study is an extension of earlier research in which freeze-dried strawberries and black raspberries prevented carcinogen-induced esophageal cancer in rodents by 50-70 percent.

Red Raspberries

New research now suggests that by eating red raspberries a person may prevent cancer. Tests conducted at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina have revealed that the human body readily absorbs the ellagic acid from red raspberries, thus inhibiting the abnormal division of cells and promoting the normal death of healthy cells. This ellagic acid has been clinically shown to cause apoptosis (cell death) in certain cancer cells.

Among several significant phytochemicals, red raspberries contain ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that has exhibited anti-carcinogenic effects against a wide range of carcinogens in several tissues. Ellagic acid contributes to significant inhibition of colon, esophageal, liver, lung, tongue, and skin cancers in studies with rats and mice, both in vitro and in vivo. By the same token, quercetin, one of the flavanols found in raspberries, has been found to be an effective anticarcinogen against skin, colon, and mammary cancers in rodents. Anthocyanins are also prevalent in red raspberries, working as antioxidants that protect against heart disease and age-related mental decline.

What is interesting to note is the superior efficacy of eating red raspberries as opposed to taking the individual phytochemicals in the form of dietary supplements. Although it is not understood as why this is so, it is clear the nutraceutical whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity) values are a measure of the antioxidant activity. Specifically, it measures the degree and length of time it takes to inhibit the action of an oxidizing agent. Antioxidants inhibit oxidation which is known to have a damaging effect on tissues. Studies now suggest that consuming fruits and vegetables with a high ORAC value may slow the aging process in both body and brain. Antioxidants are shown to work best when combined; the presence of fiber and other plant compounds enhance the health benefit. For this reason, a nutraceutical source is a more viable antioxidant option than that of a dietary supplement.


Salicylic Acid
The salicylic acid found in Oregon cane berries may prove to have the same protective effect against heart disease as aspirin. Aspirin is a closely related compound known to pharmacists as salicylic acid acetate. The therapeutic successes of small daily doses of aspirin to inhibit atherosclerosis suggest the possibility that salicylic acid consumed in foods may provide a similar benefit. A 100-gram serving (about 3/4 cup) of red raspberries contains around 5 milligrams of salicylic acid.

A flavonol that works as an anti-carcinogen and an antioxidant, quercetin has also been shown to reduce the release of histamine and may be effective against allergies. The quercetin content of Oregon caneberries (known to date) is as follows: red raspberries, 12 milligrams per 100 grams of juice (about 3/8 cup) and Evergreen blackberries, 0.5-3.5 milligrams per 100 grams of fruit (about 3/4 cup).

Vitamin C
Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that functions as an antioxidant. Like the antioxidant phytochemicals, Vitamin C 'sponges up' free radicals to keep them from doing harm.

Catechins are flavonols that support the antioxidant defense system. Catechins found in caneberries are very similar to those found in green tea which studies show may contribute to cancer prevention. The catechins content found in 100 grams (about 3/4 cup) is as follows: red raspberries, .83 milligrams and Evergreen blackberries, 1.4 milligrams.

A carbohydrate-like substance found only in plants. Dietary fiber helps maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and may help prevent certain types of cancers. It can also help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.

Ellagic Acid

Ellagic acid is a member of the family of phenolic compounds, which are known to influence the quality, acceptability and stability of foods by acting as flavorants, colorants, or antioxidants. It is a substance that appears to block various hormone reactions and metabolic pathways associated with the development of cancer. Ellagic acid is exceptionally high in raspberries and blackberries; the levels are approximately five to six times higher than those levels found in some other fruits.


Antioxidant characteristics associated with berries can be attributed to the anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins, which act as pigments to give berries their deep color, are a major component of the phenolic/flavonoid class. Recent research documents anythocyanins acting as an antioxidant, providing many potential health benefits. Researchers are currently linking anthocyanin activity to improving vision, controlling diabetes, improving circulation, preventing cancer, and retarding the effects of aging, particularly loss of memory and motor skills.