Dietary intervention of freeze-dried black raspberries (BRBs) in a group of human colorectal cancer patients has demonstrated beneficial effects, including proapoptosis, antiproliferation, and antiangiogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate BRB-mediated metabolite changes from this same cohort of patients. Twenty-eight colorectal cancer patients were given 60 g BRB powder daily for 1 to 9 weeks. Urine and plasma specimens were collected before and after BRB intervention. A mass spectrometry-based nontargeted metabolomic analysis was conducted on each specimen. A total of more than 400 metabolites were annotated in each specimen. Of these 34 and 6 metabolites were significantly changed by BRBs in urine and plasma, respectively. Increased levels of 4-methylcatechol sulfate in both post-BRB urine and post-BRB plasma were significantly correlated with a higher level of apoptotic marker (TUNEL) in post-BRB tumors. One tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolites, cis-aconitate, was increased in post-BRB urine. Furthermore, BRB-derived polyphenols were absorbed and metabolized to various benzoate species, which were significantly increased in post-BRB specimens. Increased benzoate levels were positively correlated with enhanced levels of amino acid metabolite. These results suggest that BRBs induce significant metabolic changes and affect energy generating pathways.This study supports the hypothesis that BRBs might be beneficial to colorectal cancer patients through the regulation of multiple metabolites.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.