Cancer of the esophagus is an extremely lethal type of cancer with a very poor prognosis. The five year survival rate of esophageal cancer is a mere 3 percent for advanced stage cases and 38 percent for cases where the cancer is found early and is still localized. These dire statistics point to a clear need to find an esophageal cancer cure. Although we are not there yet, researchers from Ohio State and China may have discovered a natural and delicious way to vastly reduce the risk for developing esophageal cancer.
A couple years ago, Dr. Chen and her colleagues discovered that when rats were fed freeze-dried strawberries, it markedly inhibited the development of esophageal tumors. These findings prompted Chen to continue her research, and to test the effects of strawberries on human patients with precancerous esophageal lesions. According to Chen, the majority of these participants had an inevitable risk of develop esophageal cancer at some point in their lives.
For the study, the participants were instructed to consume either 30 grams or 60 grams of freeze-dried strawberries daily for 6 months. Biopsy specimens taken before and after the study revealed results that were nothing short of amazing. In fact, 29 of the 36 participants (who consumed 60 grams per day) experienced a marked decrease in precancerous lesions, with the lesions either regressing from moderate to mild, or completely disappearing. “We found that daily consumption of strawberries suppressed various biomarkers involved in esophageal carcinogenesis, including cell proliferation, inflammation and gene transcription,” said Chen. “Our study is important because it shows that strawberries may slow the progression of precancerous lesion in the esophagus.”
It’s worth noting that only 60 grams per day of freeze-dried strawberries (which amounts to more than 1 lb of fresh strawberries) acted as a pre-esophageal cancer cure, and that the group taking just 30 grams per day did not experience the same benefits. The researchers caution that important questions still need to be answered before strawberries are promoted an esophageal cancer cure. “Fundamental questions remain, such as the best formulation of strawberry powder, the active components associated with powder, the actual mechanism of action, and standardized preparations will be required to permit the widespread use of strawberry powder with a predicable outcome.” They went on to say that “the active components and molecular targets responsible for the efficacy of strawberries must be identified.”
The paper was written by pharmacy researchers so these precautions make perfect sense—why instruct people at high risk for develop esophageal cancer to simply consume strawberries, when there is no money to be made from it? Instead, Big Pharma wants to take the results of this study and try to develop strawberry-derived drugs that can be sold for top dollar. Considering that there are over 21 published studies proving the effectiveness of strawberries as anticancer agents, and that strawberries are natural, affordable and side-effect free, we recommend ignoring this precaution and upping your consumption of strawberries as a preventative (and delicious) cancer measure.