Spe­cial gummy candy takes on cancer

Modern Healthcare - - OUT LIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Some­day fight­ing cancer could be a sweet pur­suit. Or at least that’s what re­searchers in Ohio are study­ing in a clin­i­cal trial us­ing black rasp­berry-based gummy can­dies with prostate cancer pa­tients who are hav­ing surgery.

“We set out to cre­ate a prod­uct that had the same level of qual­ity and sta­bil­ity you would find in a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal medicine, but that was 100% fruit, sim­ple to take and re­tained high lev­els of chemo­pre­ven­tive bioac­tives,” said Yael Vodovotz, a food sci­en­tist at Ohio State Univer­sity.

Black rasp­ber­ries—which have an­tiox­i­dant and anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties that seem to sup­press tu­mors—were freeze-dried to pre­serve nu­tri­ents and ground into a pow­der be­fore be­ing re­for­mu­lated into the gummy can­dies as well as a nec­tar. Each dose equals a cup of berries.

“There are places in the U.S. to­day—like the Ap­palachian re­gion which has some of the high­est cancer rates in Amer­ica—that don’t have reg­u­lar ac­cess to fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles,” Vodovotz said. “This type of prod­uct could make a big dif­fer­ence sup­port­ing pre­ven­tive health ef­forts where high-qual­ity, fresh pro­duce de­liv­er­ies are rare or un­pre­dictable.”

Us­ing fresh berries in the trial would have been im­prac­ti­cal since “vari­a­tions in stor­age, sea­sonal avail­abil­ity, ab­sorp­tion—these things can all change dis­ease-fight­ing sub­stances in fresh pro­duce,” Vodovotz said.

Pa­tients liked the can­dies so much they wanted more. “Most of the par­tic­i­pants in­quired about or­der­ing the gum­mies af­ter they had com­pleted their pre­scribed dose,” said Kris­ten Roberts, a nu­tri­tion Ph.D. can­di­date who’s work­ing on the study.

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