LMU 23 – Pomegranate Juice: The Exceptional Choice for Cancer Prevention
Source: International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2014)
Lifestyle Medicine Update (Sept 3, 2016)
The consumption of fruit juices, especially those high in simple carbohydrates, has been a matter of concern due to their potential to spike blood sugar levels and contribute to weight gain. However, one juice stands out as an exception to this rule – pure pomegranate juice. Emerging research has shown that pomegranate juice has unique properties that may help slow or even reverse the progression of prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death. Additionally, preclinical studies suggest that pomegranate juice may also offer protection against breast cancer and other types of cancer.
The Remarkable Anti-Cancer Effects of Pomegranate Juice
Several studies have highlighted the beneficial effects of pomegranate juice on cancer prevention and treatment. Pomegranate juice has shown to suppress the growth of human prostate cancer cells and induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in these cells. Furthermore, it decreases the synthesis of certain hormones and prostaglandins known to promote the proliferation and metastasis of prostate cancer cells. Pomegranate juice has also been shown to inhibit matrix metalloproteineases, which allow cancer cells to invade adjacent tissues.
Ellagic acid, a component of pomegranate juice, has shown anti-cancer effects on other types of cancer, including lung, cervical, and breast cancer. The evidence from experimental studies supports the notion that pomegranate juice can be a valuable part of a cancer prevention strategy.
Clinical Trials on Pomegranate Juice and Prostate Cancer
Two human clinical trials, using 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily, were conducted on men with advanced prostate cancer that was unresponsive to conventional medical treatment. Both trials showed remarkable results, with a dramatic slowing of the PSA doubling time and programmed cell death induced in prostate cancer cells. Another study in 2014 used a supplement containing extracts from pomegranate, green tea, broccoli, and curcumin on men with existing prostate cancer. The results showed a significant inhibition of prostate cancer progression in the group taking the supplement compared to the placebo group.
Potential Therapeutic Use Against Other Cancers
Pomegranate constituents have shown effectiveness against various cancers, including breast, lung, colon, and skin cancer. The shared molecular mechanisms between different cancer types further enhance the therapeutic potential of pomegranate extract.
Conclusion: The Exceptional Juice for Cancer Prevention
While many fruit juices are often praised for their health benefits, pomegranate juice stands out as a scientifically supported choice for cancer prevention. Its unique anti-cancer effects, especially in prostate cancer, have been proven in both experimental and clinical studies. Therefore, it is recommended to consume 4 ounces of pure pomegranate juice daily as part of a cancer prevention strategy.
Wang L, Martins-Green M. Pomegranate juice and its constituents as alternative treatment for prostate cancer. Int J Molecular Sciences. 2014;15(8):14949-149666. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC420076)
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.