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Black Raspberries for Rosacea?


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An interesting title to an article, "Eating black raspberries might reduce inflammation associated with skin allergies, a new study indicates" [1] intrigued me into an investigation. My wife commented that blackberries are the same. A cursory Google search said otherwise. [2] Wikipedia shows after entering 'black raspberry,' "Not to be confused with blackberry. Black raspberry is a common name for three species of the genus Rubus." Ironically, Rubus is part of the Rosaceae family. The one used in this clinical study was Rubus occidentalis (above image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons). 

The article refers to a clinical investigation paper that was "funded by National Cancer Institute (NCI/NIH), grant number K01CA207599 awarded to S.O., and the Ohio State University Foods for Health (FFH) Discovery Theme & Food Innovation Center (FIC) Seed Grant awarded to S.O. and USDA Hatch Funds (OHO01470) awarded to J.L.C." [3] Currently I am noticing where authors are getting the money to study such novel investigations like 'black raspberries,' since the RRDi would love to research novel studies like this for rosacea but can't drum up the money and rosaceans are not donating and have left for all the social media private rosacea groups chattering the same as they did twenty years ago about rosacea and doing nothing constructive about researching rosacea. Why they continue to support the status quo rosacea research mostly sponsored by pharmaceutical companies baffles my mind. [4]

This isn't an easy read nor for the novice so you may want to stick to what Emily Henderson wrote about this subject. [2] But if you want to deep dive into this a little more I noticed some facts that Emily doesn't mention. For example, the authors state, "Recent studies have shown that diet plays a significant role in mitigating the development of allergic illnesses, with the consumption of antioxidant rich foods shown to be particularly efficacious in reducing allergic responses." [3] If you search you will find that there are a number of foods considered rich in antioxidant besides black raspberries, but it sounds way more interesting to eat black raspberries than say kale or spinach, not to mention the fun of it. 

Emily failed to mention that the authors of the study supplemented Protocatechuic acid (PCA), a 'gut microbial metabolite of anthocyanins' with not the fresh fruit black raspberries, but instead used "5% w/w freeze-dried black raspberry (BRB) powder sensitized with DNFB (n = 5), or AIN-76A."  The authors seem more interested in the synergistic effect of PCA with BRB. PCA occurs in nature, i.e., green tea has lots of it. Here are some tidbits Emily didn't detail: 

(1) Used 2.4-dinitrofluorobenze (DNFB) to recapitulate the human disease Contact hypersensitivity (CHS).

(2) Four groups of mice were used for the study, all female, in groups of five mice. Each group had different diets, first group had 'standardized minimal nutrient rodent chow AIN-76A sensitized with vehicle only (n = 5),' second group had 'minimal nutrient rodent chow AIN-76A sensitized with DNFB (n = 5),' third group had 'AIN-76A supplemented with 5% w/w freeze-dried black raspberry (BRB) powder sensitized with DNFB (n = 5),' and the fourth group 'AIN-76A supplemented with 500 ppm protocatechuic acid (PCA.' 

The authors conclude, "In summary, we demonstrate that the dietary intake of BRB and its anthocyanin metabolite PCA have an inhibitory effect on CHS. We also distinguish between PCA specific immunomodulatory effects and the global effects of the complex mixture of BRB phytochemicals on the pathways associated with CHS."

So while this is an interesting subject, I would be careful eating a lot of black raspberries since the fructose in fresh berries can initiate a rosacea trigger, notwithstanding the antioxidant effect. [5] Maybe if you skin is clear, you may have a small bowl which would be nice and who knows, maybe fresh black raspberries might be good for rosacea? Maybe a little. Just watch out for the fructose!

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End Notes

[1] Eating black raspberries might reduce inflammation associated with skin allergies, a new study indicates, Emily Henderson, B.Sc., News-Medical.Net


Huff Post concurs: 
Blackberry vs Black Raspberry: What's The Difference?, By Julie R. Thomson, Huff Post

[3] Nutrients. 2020 Jun 6;12(6):E1701.  doi: 10.3390/nu12061701. Full Text
Black Raspberries and Protocatechuic Acid Mitigate DNFB-Induced Contact Hypersensitivity by Down-Regulating Dendritic Cell Activation and Inhibiting Mediators of Effector Responses
Kelvin Anderson, Nathan Ryan, Arham Siddiqui, Travis Pero, Greta Volpedo, Jessica L Cooperstone, Steve Oghumu 

[4] Rosacea Research in Perspective of Funding

[5] Sugar = Rosacea Fire

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