Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe, associate professor with the Department of Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, and his team are researching the haskap berry to develop a food therapy that would reduce the risk of cancer. Students who joined the team to look at the effects of the berry on high blood pressure and inflammation found that the berry suppressed inflammation.
Dr. Rupasinghe says “the most recent research shows that flavonoids present fruits are known to prevent and suppress cancer development and metastasis, but there are also economic benefits to using the haskap”. Nova Scotia has the perfect climate for growing haskaps and the opportunity is there to take advantage of this. When farmers move out west looking for better jobs and pay, they leave behind thousands of acres of land, land that could be planted with haskaps.
Madumani (Madu) Amararathna, a student at DAL, has been awarded a grant to study the chemo preventative properties of haskap. “Madu is going to study cancer preventative properties of haskap by using experimental models of lung cancer,” he said, adding Amararathna will do some cell-based assays as well as tests on mice”. Dr. Rupasinghe wants to create a haskap drink for use in food therapy.
To read the full article click here.