Chinese Name:
Medical Name:
Latin Name: Ribes nigrum
Taste: Sweet and tart

Quotes from Chinese historical sources

Western Research

Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2005 Sep;34(5):581-4
[Effect of anthocyanin rich fruit extract on PGE2 produced by endothelia cells]
Han GL, Li CM, Mazza G, Yang XG.
Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100050, China
OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of anthocyanin rich fruit extract on PGE2 produced by Endothelia Cells. METHODS: Normal human endothelia cells, CRL-2606, were cultured in F12K medium (complemented with 10% FBS, 0.1 mg/ml heparin, 0.03 mg/ml ECGS, 50 microg/ml streptomycin and 500U/ml penicillin) in 5% CO2 with 95% air at 37 degrees C. When the cells grow close to confluence, anthocyanin rich fruit extract with/without 100 ng/ml of LPS were added to the medium. After 18 hours of incubation, cells were harvested and the supernatant were collected. Cell viability was assayed. After centrifugation, PGE2 concentration in the supernatant was measured with the STAT-Prostaglandin E2 EIA Kit. RESULTS: 300 microg/ml or higher Chokeberry extract showed cytotoxicity effect on CRL-2606 cells, the viability was lower than 60% and showed a dose-response manner. Under using dosage, Blackcurrant extract (100 - 700 microg/ml) and Blueberry extract (50 - 400 microg/ml) did not show any cytotoxicity. When stimulated by LPS, the production of PGE2 by endothelial cells were increased two fold. Blueberry extract inhibit such action. 100 microg/ml of Blueberry extract keeps the production of PGE2 in normal level. 700 microg/mL of Blackcurrant extract and 500 microg/ml Chokeberry extract also inhibit the releasing of PGE2. CONCLUSION: Anthocyanin rich fruit extract from Blueberry, Blackcurrant, and Chokeberry inhibit PGE2 produced by endothelia cells, there exist antiinflammation and antioxidation.

J Appl Microbiol. 2005;98(4):991-1000
Berry phenolics selectively inhibit the growth of intestinal pathogens.
Puupponen-Pimiä R, Nohynek L, Hartmann-Schmidlin S, Kähkönen M, Heinonen M, Määttä-Riihinen K, Oksman-Caldentey KM.
VTT Biotechnology, Espoo, Finland.
AIMS: To investigate the effects of berries and berry phenolics on pathogenic intestinal bacteria and to identify single phenolic compounds being responsible for antimicrobial activity. METHODS AND RESULTS: Antimicrobial activity of eight Nordic berries and their phenolic extracts and purified phenolic fractions were measured against eight selected human pathogens. Pathogenic bacterial strains, both Gram-positive and Gram-negative, were selectively inhibited by bioactive berry compounds. Cloudberry and raspberry were the best inhibitors, and Staphylococcus and Salmonella the most sensitive bacteria. Phenolic compounds, especially ellagitannins, were strong inhibitory compounds against Staphylococcus bacteria. Salmonella bacteria were only partly inhibited by the berry phenolics, and most of the inhibition seemed to originate from other compounds, such as organic acids. Listeria strains were not affected by berry compounds, with the exception of cranberry. Phenolic compounds affect the bacteria in different mechanisms. CONCLUSIONS: Berries and their phenolics selectively inhibit the growth of human pathogenic bacteria. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Antimicrobial properties of berries could be utilized in functional foods. Furthermore these compounds would be of high interest for further evaluation of their properties as natural antimicrobial agents for food and pharmaceutical industry.

Anticancer Res. 2007 Mar-Apr;27(2):937-48
Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and suppression of TNF-induced activation of NFkappaB by edible berry juice
Boivin D, Blanchette M, Barrette S, Moghrabi A, Béliveau R
Laboratoire de Médecine Moléculaire, Hôpital Ste-Justine-UQAM, Centre de Cancérologie Charles-Bruneau, Centre de Recherche de l'Hôpital Sainte-Justine, 3175, Chemin Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, Québec, Canada
BACKGROUND: Berries contain several phytochemicals, such as phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins and other flavonoids. There has been growing interest in a variety of potential chemopreventive activities of edible berries. The potential chemopreventive activity of a variety of small berries cultivated or collected in the province of Québec, Canada were evaluated here. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Strawberry, raspberry, black currant, red currant, white currant, gooseberry, high-bush blueberry, low-bush blueberry, velvet leaf blueberry, serviceberry, blackberry, black chokeberry, sea buckthorn and cranberry were evaluated for antioxidant capacity, anti-proliferative activity, anti-inflammatory activity, induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. RESULTS: The growth of various cancer cell lines, including those of stomach, prostate, intestine and breast, was strongly inhibited by raspberry, black currant, white currant, gooseberry, velvet leaf blueberry, low-bush blueberry, sea buckthorn and cranberry juice, but not (or only slightly) by strawberry, high-bush blueberry, serviceberry, red currant, or blackberry juice. No correlation was found between the anti-proliferative activity of berry juices and their antioxidant capacity (p > 0.05). The inhibition of cancer cell proliferation by berry juices did not involve caspase-dependent apoptosis, but appeared to involve cell-cycle arrest, as evidenced by down-regulation of the expression of cdk4, cdk6, cyclin D1 and cyclin D3. Of the 13 berries tested, juice of 6 significantly inhibited the TNF-induced activation of COX-2 expression and activation of the nuclear transcription factor NFkappaB. CONCLUSION: These results illustrate that berry juices have striking differences in their potential chemopreventive activity and that the inclusion of a variety of berries in the diet might be useful for preventing the development of tumors.