Prevent Prostate Cancer
A type of antioxidant found in pomegranates may account
for the fruit's benefit to prostate health, according
to a new study conducted by researchers at the University
of California at Los Angeles and published in the Journal
of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Researchers found that antioxidants known as ellagitannins
and their metabolites accumulated in the prostates of
mice in the laboratory. Then the researchers grafted prostate
cancer cells onto mice whose immune systems had been deliberately
hampered. They then treated one group of these mice with
ellagitannins and their metabolites. The treated mice
demonstrated significantly less tumor growth than mice
in the control group.
"We have shown that pomegranate
ellagitannins metabolites are concentrated to a high degree
in mouse prostate tissues," the researchers wrote. "The
current study contributes to the increasing body of evidence
demonstrating the prostate
cancer chemopreventive potential of pomegranate ellagitannins."
Pomegranates have been shown to be rich in antioxidants,
and increased consumption has been correlated with improved
cardiovascular health. Claims have also been made that
consuming pomegranate can help slow the cartilage loss
caused by arthritis while also helping prevent prostate
The same team of researchers previously demonstrated that
consumption of pomegranate juice by prostate cancer patients
leads to an increased doubling time for prostate specific
antigen, a primary indicator of prostate cancer risk.
This suggested that the fruit helps slow the growth of
cancer, a hypothesis that has been supported by the current
Animal and laboratory studies have also suggested that
pomegranate juice may also slow the progress of other
types of cancer, including breast and lung cancer.
The researchers expressed hope that pomegranate may be
eventually developed into a cancer treatment, but cautioned
that further studies are needed before this can occur.
In particular, clinical studies on humans must take place
before any treatment can be developed or approved, as
the fruit may function differently in the human body than
in a mouse or a lab.
Consumer health advocate Mike Adams responded by saying,
"Medical scientists don't need to waste time developing
a treatment based on pomegranates.
Mother Nature has already provided the treatment... simply
eat more pomegranate seeds!" Adams is also the author
of the book How
to Prevent and Reverse Prostate Cancer, which encourages
men to consume pomegranates, green tea, zinc and other