Finland: Northern berry may find use in cancer therapy

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Cloudberries contain ellagitannins that provide protection against cancer. (Pentti Kallinen / Yle)
Cloudberries contain ellagitannins that provide protection against cancer. (Pentti Kallinen / Yle)
Research by a team at the University of Helsinki shows that an extract from wild cloudberries is effective in preventing the development of cancer cells in mice.

It is possible that the cloudberries found growing wild in northern and eastern parts of Finland could be of use in the treatment of colon cancer. Research carried out on mice by a team at the University of Helsinki has found evidence that cloudberries can effectively prevent the formation of cancerous tumours and the growth of existing tumours.

However, according to one of the scientists involved in the project, Essi Päivärinta, it is difficult to say how much would have to be eaten to achieve the desired effect.

“Large amounts were used in the experiments with mice. The general dietary recommendation for fruits and berries is one half kilo a day. If one eats 100 grams of berries a day, that’s a good target amount,” Päivärinta told Yle.

Berries contain beneficial fibres and vitamins. Cloudberries also contain polyphenols, especially ellagitannins, which are known to provide protection against cancers.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Arctic plants to be studied in Nunavut, Alaska Dispatch

Finland: Cold stunts Finland’s berry crops, Yle News

Sweden:  Replanting the sea in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States:  Alaska seaweed may be potent weapon against diabetes, Alaska Dispatch

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