Finland: Northern berry may find use in cancer therapy

YLE NewsEye on the Arctic
A study from Finland suggests compounds in cloudberries, found throughout the circumpolar North, including Alaska, can fight cancer. Bjørn Tennøe / CC via Wikimedia

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 tumors and the growth of existing tumors.

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

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.