Black Raspberry Seed
Raspberries contain natural plant chemicals that act as antioxidants to locate and destroy disease-causing free radicals. In fact, raspberries rank among the top 10 high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables. Among several potential benefits, the components in raspberry seeds may help prevent infections, heart disease and cancer.
Raspberry seeds contain antioxidant-like phytonutrients including ellagitannins and anthocyanins that may help fight cancer, viruses, inflammation and a number of other conditions. Antioxidants scavenge and destroy cel-damaging substances, called free radicals, that can occur naturally in the body or from exposure to environmental toxins. Although ellagitannins exist in most berries, raspberries contain the highest levels, according to immunology specialist Dr. Susan Thorpe-Vargas. Anthocyanins, also found in many berries, help provide some of the color pigment in plants and fruits.
Antibacterial and Antiviral Benefits
High amounts of the ellagitannins in raspberry seeds may help fight bacteria and viruses. The coiled structure of DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, in bacteria must untwist itself to replicate and spread throughout the body. This process requires an enzyme called gyrase. Ellagitannins may inhibit this enzyme and halt bacterial spread to prevent illness. This antioxidant also may prohibit the action of another enzyme involved in the proliferation of viruses. Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot replicate and must "hijack" and insert their DNA not a host cell. Ellagitannins stop an enzyme, called integrate, from enabling this process, according to Thorpe-Vargas.
The antioxidants in raspberry seeds may lower levels of cholesterol to promote the health of blood vessels and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Medical doctor Ray Sahelian cites, a study published in the July 2009 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which observed the effects of anthocyanins on 120 subjects with high cholesterol. Participant, aged 40 to 65, received either 160 mg of anthocyanins or a placebo twice daily for a period of 12 weeks. Subjects receiving anthocyanins exhibited lower levels of dangerous low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol, and improved overall cholesterol levels.