By Ben Wasserman
Jan 16, 2008
THURSDAY Jan 17, 2008 (Foodconsumer.org) — A Brazilian berry found high in antioxidants destroyed cultured human cancer cells, reported by researchers of the University of Florida who published their study today in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
The study, one of the first to investigate the fruit’s potential benefits, showed an extract from acai berries triggered apoptosis or self-destruction in up to 86 percent of leukemia cells, said Stephen Talcott, assistant professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences.
“Acai berries are already considered one of the richest fruit sources of antioxidants,” Talcott was cited by Science Blog as saying. “This study was an important step toward learning what people may gain from using beverages, dietary supplements or other products made with the berries.”
But he cautioned that the study was not intended to determine whether compounds in acai berries could be used to prevent leukemia in humans. “This was only a cell-culture model and we donâ€™t want to give anyone false hope,” Talcott said.
Other fruits including grapes, guavas and mangoes were also found to be able to kill cancer cells in similar studies, according to Talcott.