Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the colonic mucosa that can dramatically increase the risk of colon cancers. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of a dietary intervention of freeze-dried black raspberries (BRB), a natural food product with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory bioactivities, on disease severity in an experimental mouse model of UC using 3% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). C57BL/6J mice were fed either a control diet or a diet containing BRB (5 or 10%) for 7-14 days and then the extent of colonic injury was assessed. Dietary BRB markedly reduced DSS-induced acute injury to the colonic epithelium. This protection included better maintenance of body mass and reductions in colonic shortening and ulceration. BRB treatment, however, did not affect the levels of either plasma nitric oxide or colon malondialdehyde, biomarkers of oxidative stress that are otherwise increased by DSS-induced colonic injury. BRB treatment for up to 7 days suppressed tissue levels of several key pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 1β. Further examination of the inflammatory response by western blot analysis revealed that 7 day BRB treatment reduced the levels of phospho-IκBα within the colonic tissue. Colonic cyclooxygenase 2 levels were also dramatically suppressed by BRB treatment, with a concomitant decrease in the plasma prostaglandin E₂ (276 versus 34 ng/ml). These findings demonstrate a potent anti-inflammatory effect of BRB during DSS-induced colonic injury, supporting its possible therapeutic or preventive role in the pathogenesis of UC and related neoplastic events.