JAN 23, 2018 08:19 AM PST

Aronia Berries: Anti-Cancer and Other Benefits

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers
4 18 722

Aronia berries (“aronia”), which grow on deciduous shrubs primarily in North America and Eastern Europe, contain a high proportion of micronutrients called polyphenols. Polyphenols are usually organic but can be synthesized. They are chemicals known to have anti-oxidant properties – they prevent oxidation, which can lead to cell damage in the body. Polyphenol-rich aronia has been found to provide a variety of health benefits when consumed, including in the prevention of the spread of cancer and the amelioration of cardiovascular problems. Aronia is also sometimes called chokeberry because it has a markedly tart and mouth-drying taste.

Aronia, credit: Mrigashirsh on Flickr

Aronia’s Cancer-related Benefits

A 2004 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discovered that aronia was able to slow the growth of colon cancer cells. Grape and bilberry extracts were also “investigated for their potential chemopreventive [(preventing disease progression)] activity against colon cancer,” and aronia had the highest cancer-inhibitive properties.

In 2009, research was conducted into how plant antioxidants like aronia can protect cells against the oxidative stress observed in breast cancer patients. Aronia extract was proven to reduce cell damage and to have a “protective role” for “patients with breast cancer in vitro” (in tests performed with samples outside of the organism).

Aronia’s Numerous Other Health Benefits

Other studies and inquiries have found aronia to offer positive results for a variety of illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease and liver damage. In 2015, it was found to improve immune response and reduce diabetes-related oxidative stress and inflammation. It has also been shown to fight insulin resistance and to improve obesity and glucose levels.

In 2016, aronia juice was able to improve liver damage symptoms in mice. Multiple studies during the last decade into its effects on the cardiovascular system have had positive results. This micronutrient has been shown to relax arterial tissue and improve Aronia salad, credit: Iowa public televisionblood flow, reduce high blood pressure and protect against plaque.

In a 2015 research inquiry, aronia was discovered to have the most polyphenols out of 143 plants known to contain them. It contains many other beneficial nutrients, including vitamin B-1, B-2, B-6, C and K, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, tocopherols, zinc, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, and magnesium.

How to Consume Sharp-Tasting Aronia and Polyphenols

While aronia has a bitter flavor that is known to cause a dry-mouth sensation, it does not have to be eaten raw. The berries can be consumed fresh or made into baked goods like muffins and pies, drinks like juices, teas and wines, or jams. Aronia can also be ingested as a nutritional supplement.

Polyphenols can be found in other food sources, including cloves, dark chocolate, cherries, beans, nuts, spinach, soy, green and black tea, and red wine.

About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech and conservation.
You May Also Like
MAY 15, 2018
Cancer
MAY 15, 2018
May Is Skin Cancer Awareness Month...Are You Protected?
May is skin cancer awareness month. Are you armed with the tools and information you need to prevent, identify, and be informed about skin cancer?
JUN 05, 2018
Cancer
JUN 05, 2018
Early Breast Cancer Patients Do Not Gain Response Advantage with Chemotherapy
Phase III clinical trial research shows evidence that early breast cancer patients with common breast cancer type do not need chemotherapy & hormone therapy combo; hormone therapy is enough
JUN 05, 2018
Cancer
JUN 05, 2018
Precision vs. Personalized Medicine Part II: Personalized Approach
So often the phrases "Precision Medicine" and "Personalized Medicine" are used interchangeably. Are they really synonyms? Part II looks at Personalized Medicine
JUN 27, 2018
Cancer
JUN 27, 2018
Engineered Poliovirus in Clinical Trials for Glioblastoma
Glioblastoma is a very difficult cancer to treat; researchers look to an engineered poliovirus for novel targeted approach for grade IV patients.
JUL 24, 2018
Cancer
JUL 24, 2018
Veterans with Cancer Get Streamlined Access to NCI Clinical Trials
Veterans with cancer, and the VA that cares for them, struggle to navigate the complex world of clinical trials but a collaborative agreement between VA and NCI could fix that.
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
What does sunscreen look like with a UV camera?
  Have you ever wondered if there’s really a difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50? You’re not the only one. YouTuber Physics Girl set out
Loading Comments...