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Berries which are native to regions in North America have a significant effect in boosting the good that chemotherapy has on pancreatic cancer patients.
A study carried out by a research team from the universities of Middlesex, Southampton, Portsmouth and Kings College tested an extract of chokeberry, a berry found on the eastern side of America, on pancreatic cancer cells and examined what happened to the cancer cells when they were treated with chemotherapy alone, chokeberry extract alone or with a combination of both.
They found that when the chokeberry extract was added to gemcitabine (a chemotherapy drug used specifically to treat patients suffering from pancreatic cancer) and the scientists found that it was more effective at repressing the growth of tumours in comparison to just chemotherapy alone.
Chokeberry is packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients and essential vitamins. They’ve recently caught the attention of health food and fitness fanatics after their extreme nutritional value was discovered. The berries contain high levels of a chemical called anthocyanins, which has been proven to offer a whole range of health benefits against conditions such as neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, cancer, the effects of aging and bacterial infections.
Seeing as pancreatic cancer is a cancer not often caught until the disease is more advanced, the possibility of a more effective treatment could spread hope to patients throughout the UK. It’s still uncertain whether the results of this study will translate into real-world treatment plans, but most experts in the field expect these encouraging results to spur further studies into using chokeberry extract as treatment.
It’s important to remember that although chokeberry extract showed extremely positive results throughout these tests, that herbal remedies available on every high street can be volatile when used in conjunction with chemotherapy. The NHS has warned pancreatic patients that taking chokeberry extract in combination with chemotherapy when not under the control of medical professionals, could lead to unpredictable results.