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  • From: "Lon J. Rombough" <>
  • To: AGRISYNERGY <>, Small Fruit List <>, NAFEX List <>, Organic Gardening Discussion List <>
  • Cc: "\"Organic-l\" <"<>
  • Subject: [nafex] FW: Berries May Protect Against Cancer and Heart Disease
  • Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 09:07:21 -0800

This item is one of the news releases and story leads that ARS Information
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From: "ARS News Service" <>
To: "ARS News List" <>
Subject: Berries May Protect Against Cancer and Heart Disease
Date: Tue, Feb 27, 2001, 6:41 AM

Berries May Protect Against Cancer and Heart Disease

ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
February 27, 2001
Hank Becker, (301) 504-1624,

Blueberries, cranberries, huckleberries and related plants have now been
found to contain resveratrol, a potential anticancer agent, according to
Agricultural Research Service scientists who made the discovery.

This new finding from ARS chemist Agnes Rimando at the Natural Products
Utilization Research Unit, Oxford, Miss., adds to previous research by other
scientists who found that dark-skinned bunch grapes contain resveratrol.
Rimando is working with scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
Kentville, Nova Scotia, and the ARS Small Fruit Research Station in
Poplarville, Miss.

Using chemical identification procedures, the team of scientists measured
the resveratrol content of 30 whole fruit samples of blueberry, cranberry,
huckleberry and related plants. The samples represented five families and 10
species of Vaccinium fruit. They also measured resveratrol in skin,
juice/pulp and seed samples of muscadine grape.

Because of its important biological properties, resveratrol
(3,5,4-trihydroxystilbene) has been examined extensively in grapes. Studies
showed the compound protects the grapes from fungal diseases. It also
provides health benefits for consumers by reducing the risk of
cardiovascular disease. The compound's anticancer potential warranted its
examination in other fruits.

The team's studies showed that several fruit samples of Vaccinium contain
varying amounts of the compound. Analysis of the extracts of the skin,
juice/pulp and seed of muscadine grapes showed that concentration of
resveratrol in the skin was highest. Levels in the juice/pulp were much
lower than in the skin and seeds. Analysis of more Vaccinium and muscadine
samples is continuing.

The new data could help build a foundation for increasing resveratrol in
those berry and grape crops that are important to many small farmers. Future
research goals will include enhancing production of resveratrol in selected

ARS is the lead scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of

Scientific contact: Agnes Rimando, ARS Natural Products Utilization Research
Unit, Oxford, Miss, (662) 915-1037, fax (662) 915-1035,

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