And you eat the jam while throwing away the seeds!

Posted on March 27, 2014 by Bradford S. Weeks, MD 

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  A brief review of the following references will convince you of the anti-cancer benefits of the seeds of black raspberries.   Chew chew chew and don’t spit out the seed!


1.Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Nov;123(2):401-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.07.023. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

A black raspberry extract inhibits proliferation and regulates apoptosis in cervical cancer cells.

Zhang ZKnobloch TJSeamon LGStoner GDCohn DEPaskett EDFowler JMWeghorst CM.


College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.



Cervical cancer is the second most common female cancer worldwide, and it remains a challenge to manage preinvasive and invasive lesions. Food-based cancer prevention entities, such as black raspberries and their derivatives, have demonstrated a marked ability to inhibit preclinical models of epithelial cancer cell growth and tumor formation. Here, we extend the role of black raspberry-mediated chemoprevention to that of cervical carcinogenesis.


We found that non-toxic levels of black raspberry significantly inhibited the growth of human cervical cancer cells, in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner to a maximum of 54%, 52% and 67%, respectively (p<0.05). Furthermore, cell growth inhibition was persistent following short-term withdrawal of RO-ET from the culture medium. Flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy demonstrated RO-ET-induced apoptosis in all cell lines.



Black raspberries and their bioactive components represent promising candidates for future phytochemical-based mechanistic pathway-targeted cancer prevention strategies.



3. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Mar 9;59(5):1638-45. doi: 10.1021/jf1023388. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Effect of black raspberry ( Rubus occidentalis L.) extract variation conditioned by cultivar, production site, and fruit maturity stage on colon cancer cell proliferation.

Johnson JLBomser JAScheerens JCGiusti MM.


Department of Food Science and Technology, 110 Parker Food Science and Technology Building, The Ohio State University , 2015 Fyffe Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210, United States.


Black raspberries have been shown to inhibit multiple stages of oral, esophageal, and colon cancer.




4. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Mar;32(3):343-50. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgq248. Epub 2010 Nov 23.

Anti-inflammatory effects of freeze-dried black raspberry powder in ulcerative colitis.

Montrose DCHorelik NAMadigan JPStoner GDWang LSBruno RSPark HJGiardina CRosenberg DW.


Center for Molecular Medicine and Colon Cancer Prevention Program, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the colonic mucosa that can dramatically increase the risk of colon cancers. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of a dietary intervention of freeze-dried black raspberries (BRB), a natural food product with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory bioactivities, on disease severity in an experimental mouse model of UC using 3% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS …..These findings demonstrate a potent anti-inflammatory effect of BRB during DSS-induced colonic injury, supporting its possible therapeutic or preventive role in the pathogenesis of UC and related neoplastic events.


6. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(6):816-26. doi: 10.1080/01635580903285148.

Black raspberry components inhibit proliferation, induce apoptosis, and modulate gene expression in rat esophageal epithelial cells.

Zikri NNRiedl KMWang LSLechner JSchwartz SJStoner GD.


The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43240, USA.


We have shown that a diet containing freeze-dried black raspberries (BRB) inhibits the development of chemically induced cancer in the rat esophagus.

7. Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(1):93-104. doi: 10.1080/01635580903191494.

Effect of black raspberry extract in inhibiting NFkappa B dependent radioprotection in human breast cancer cells.

Madhusoodhanan RNatarajan MSingh JVJamgade AAwasthi VAnant SHerman TSAravindan N.


The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, USA.


Black raspberry extracts (RSE) have been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and stimulate apoptosis. Also, studies have demonstrated that RSE inhibits transcriptional regulators including NFkappa B. Accordingly, we investigated the effect of RSE in inhibiting radiation (IR) induced NFkappa B mediated radioprotection in breast adenocarcinoma cells. …. RSE suppressed cell survival and enhanced cell death. These results suggest that RSE may act as a potent radiosensitizer by overcoming the effects of NFkappa B mediated radioprotection in human breast cancer cells.

8. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2009 Jul;2(7):665-72. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0193.

Topical treatment with black raspberry extract reduces cutaneous UVB-induced carcinogenesis and inflammation.

Duncan FJMartin JRWulff BCStoner GDTober KLOberyszyn TMKusewitt DFVan Buskirk AM.


Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University, 1645 Neil Avenue, 129 Hamilton Hall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


A standardized black raspberry extract (BRE) has been effective in reducing signaling pathways commonly initiated by inflammatory stimuli. In this study, we determined whether this extract could reduce cutaneous UVB-induced inflammation and carcinogenesis. The ability of topical BRE to reduce acute UVB-induced inflammation and to decrease tumor development in a long-term model provides compelling evidence to explore the clinical efficacy of BRE in the prevention of human skin cancers.