Pomegranate Juice May Help Prevent Cancer from Spreading Print Write e-mail
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Prostate Cancer - Prostate Cancer 2010
Written by Frank Mangano   
Thursday, 16 December 2010 02:03

The 2010 data on prostate cancer coming from the American Cancer Society has foreseen an increase in new prostate cancer cases as well as prostate cancer-related deaths in the United States alone, as compared to 2009.  As published in Cancer Facts & Figures 2010, the society’s yearly publication, the American male population will have an estimated 217,730 newly-diagnosed cases and 32,050 deaths due to prostate cancer.

At present, prostate cancer is the most common form of malignancy in American males and is also the number two cause of cancer-related deaths, after cancer of the lungs.

What is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate gland is a male organ that is responsible for producing a part of the fluid that is found in the semen that a male person ejaculates. When cancer cells start to invade the organ, prostate cancer starts to develop.

During the early stage of the disease, prostate cancer is asymptomatic.  The man could not feel anything that would prompt him to go to the doctor and seek consultation. Most of the time, it is diagnosed during a routine physical check-up, when the doctor performs the digital rectal examination and a hard nodule is felt upon palpation.  However, on advanced cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may become evident:

  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Dribbling of the urine
  • Difficulty in starting urination
  • Difficulty in stopping urination
  • A feeling of not being able to completely empty the bladder
  • Blood in the urine

Symptoms such as easy fatigability, unintended weight loss, body malaise may signal the start of a metastasis. Deep sensations of bone pain coupled with bones that are easily fractured indicate metastasis to the bones.

Pomegranate Juice and Prostate Cancer

University of California, Riverside (UCR) researchers identified specific components contained in pomegranate juice that appears to stop the movement of cancerous cells while diminishing the cells’ attraction to a form of chemical signal that is said to be associated with promoting the metastasis of cancer cells from the prostate going to the bone.  This information was presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in Philadelphia.

UCR researchers from the laboratory of Manuela Martins-Green, Ph.D. is planning to hold additional testing regarding prostate cancer, this time making use of an in vivo model, in order to determine the two component’s effects as well as the side effects depending on the dose. Whether or not there is indeed an effect brought about by pomegranate juice on prostate cancer progression remains unknown.

A study conducted on prostate cancer last 2006 revealed that those who drank one 8oz glass of pomegranate juice exhibited a reduction in the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as determined by UCLA researchers.  The findings indicated pomegranate juice’s potential in slowing down the progression of cancer.  However, the researchers did not attempt to identify the biological mechanism that is potentially behind the effects of pomegranate juice in the said study.

Previously conducted studies have seen Martins-Green and her team utilize pomegranate juice with standardized concentration on two types of prostate cancer cells which were cultured in the laboratory and were considered to be testosterone-resistant. The said resistance to the testosterone hormone suggests a possibly strong potential for metastasis.  The researchers observed that, for tumour cells that were treated with pomegranate juice, there was an increased rate of cell death.  Additionally, the tumour cells displayed lower cell migration and higher cell adhesion amongst those that managed to survive. Afterwards, the Martins-Green laboratory analyzed the pomegranate juice in order to distinguish the active ingredients that produce an impact on molecules that affect cell migration and cell adhesion in the cells of metastatic prostate cancer.  The scientists namely Jeffrey Ho, Lei Wang and Martins-Green identified conjugated fatty acids, flavones, hydrobenzoic acids and phenylpropanoids.

Martins-Green expressed her excitement over the fact that the naturally occurring constituents of pomegranate juice can now be modified in order to further enhance its functions and make them more helpful in prostate cancer metastasis prevention.

Studies Supporting the Benefits of Pomegranate Juice

Numerous studies have been conducted on the benefits of pomegranate juice.  The fruit is a rich source of antioxidants known as tannins and anthocyanins.  In pomegranate juice, tannin is turned into punicalagins.  Despite the change in name, both boasts of potent antioxidant properties that help neutralize free radicals – substances toxic to the body which can be a source of a multitude of health conditions ranging from premature aging up to cancer.

A glass of pomegranate juice is very rich in vitamin C. It helps the body fight off infection by enhancing the function of the immune system.  It also helps in the production of collagen thereby providing the body with strong bones and joints. However, the health benefits do not stop here.  Read on and find out:

  • Pomegranate juice also helps reduce the levels of LDL, or the bad cholesterol present in the blood.  The Clinical Nutrition journal has published a study which revealed that patients who drink pomegranate juice over a three-year period reduced their LDL cholesterol ratio.
  • Patients who are at high risk for cardiovascular events such as a heart attack are typically given medications to thin the blood to prevent blood clots.  However, pharmaceutical drugs may bring about unwanted side effects, and we want to veer away from that as much as possible.  Good news:  pomegranate juice acts as a blood thinner, so there really is no need to take those drugs.
  • High blood pressure is also reduced by pomegranate juice consumption.  The Atherosclerosis journal has reported that pomegranate juice lowers the level of activity of angiotensin-converting enzymes resulting to a lowered blood pressure.
  • The Impotence Research journal has also indicated that drinking pomegranate juice may benefit men who are diagnosed with impotence because pomegranate juice is said to improve the blood flow all throughout the body.
  • Results of a preliminary study on patients undergoing dialysis because of kidney disease have also suggested that pomegranate juice protects the body from dialysis complications.

Sources
cancer.gov
medicinenet.com
prostatecancerinfolink.net
mayoclinic.com
eurekalert.org

  

 

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