New findings from a research team that has been studying the health benefits of black raspberries mainly, to see if these delicious berries can help prevent inflammation in the skin.
Black raspberries are an excellent source of fiber (1 cup provides almost 1/3 of recommended daily amount) and vitamins. They are also rich in antioxidants that are believed to have cancer-fighting properties. Researchers from Ohio State University discovered that incorporating black raspberries into a diet could also reduce inflammation in the skin caused by contact hypersensitivity. This condition occurs when an irritant comes into direct contact with the skin. As a response, the body floods the area affected by the allergen with cells that cause itchiness and redness.
During three weeks, researchers fed a group of mice a diet rich in black raspberries (the amount is relevant to one serving for people per day). The control group of mice had the same diet but without black raspberries.
After performing tests, researchers found that the inflammation reduced significantly in those mice that received black raspberries daily. The compounds in the fruit seem to modulate skin cells that send signals to the immune system, commanding it to create inflammation or not.
“The immune system is very complex – so once you begin to identify the unique cells that are affected by the berries then it helps us to see how berries are inhibiting inflammation,” said study author Steve Oghumu. “A lot of the bad effects we see are not always due to the pathogens or allergens themselves, but are due to the way our body responds.”