Pomegranate Juice to Combat Prostate Cancer
Sep 27, 2005 - 9:11:38 PM
Earlier research at Wisconsin and elsewhere has shown that the pomegranate, a fruit native to the Middle East, is rich in anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and is effective against tumors in mouse skin. In fact, pomegranate juice has higher anti-oxidant activity than do red wine and green tea, both of which appear promising as anti-cancer agents.
The UW research team aimed to find out if the extract from pomegranates would not only kill existing cancer, but help prevent cancer from starting or progressing. Using human prostate cancer cells, the team first evaluated the fruit extract's effect, at various doses, on those cells cultured in laboratory dishes. They found a "dose-dependent" effect - in other words, the higher the dose of pomegranate extract the cells received, the more cells died.
The research team then progressed to tests in mice that had been injected with prostate cancer cells from humans and developed malignancies. The 24 mice were randomly divided into three groups. The control group received normal drinking water, while the animals in the second and third groups had their drinking water supplemented with .1 percent and .2 percent pomegranate extract respectively. The results were dramatic: the mice receiving the higher concentration of pomegranate extract showed significant slowing of their cancer progression and a decrease in the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker used to indicate the presence of prostate cancer in humans. "Our study - while early -- adds to growing evidence that pomegranates contain very powerful agents against cancer, particularly prostate cancer," says lead author Dr. Hasan Mukhtar, professor of dermatology in the UW Medical School. The next step in the evaluation of pomegranates for cancer prevention and treatment is to conduct tests in humans, according to Mukhtar.
Additional information from wikipedia: Pomegranates are high in polyphenols, which are compounds that may help reduce 'silent inflammation' which is at the root of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The most abundant polyphenols in pomegranate are hydrolysable tannins, particularly punicalagins, which have been shown in many peer-reviewed research to be the superior antioxidant responsible for the free-radical scavenging ability of pomegranate juice.
Many food and dietary supplement makers have found the advantages of using natural spectrum pomegranate extracts over the juice (no sugar, calories, or additives) as healthy ingredients in their products. As far as pomegranate extracts go, however, it may be advisable to stick with ingredients standardized to native constituents, are absorbed into the body, and are backed by clinical research.
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