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Boysenberries seen to impede asbestos-induced mesothelioma

From the Yomiuri Shimbun Feb. 8th, 2007

Yomiuri, JP -Rats fed food containing boysenberries were found to be less likely to develop symptoms of asbestos-induced mesothelioma than rats that did not consume the fruit, according to a research group at Sagami Women's University in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Boysenberries - native to the United States and also grown in New Zealand - can be eaten raw and are made into jam.

Shuichi Adachi, an assistant professor at the university, and head of the research group, believes that the polyphenol in boysenberries prevents the development of mesothelioma. The group is conducting further experiments to confirm the results.

According to the group, 40 rats were injected with 10 milligrams of asbestos and then divided into two groups. One group ate food containing 2 percent boysenberry powder, and the others ate ordinary food. After a year, 14 rats from the non-boysenberry group manifested symptoms of mesothelioma, but only seven rats from the boysenberry group developed symptoms.

Symptoms first developed in a rat from the boysenberry group two months after the first signs were spotted among the non-boysenberry group.

Active oxygen is thought to be connected to mesothelioma, and according to Adachi, the antioxidant effects of the polyphenol in boysenberries may counteract the disease. Blueberries and raspberries also contain antioxidants, but boysenberries are said to have large concentrations of them.