Pomegranate extract may prevent prostate cancer or slow its growth, if results of lab experiments conducted at the University of Wisconsin in Madison translate to real-world benefits. Dr. Hasan Mukhtar and his colleagues note in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition that pomegranates are high in polyphenolic compounds, making its juice higher in antioxidant activity than red wine and green tea. (Reuters Health)
When they incubated prostate cancer cells with low concentrations of pomegranate extract, they observed a dose-related inhibition of cell growth.
When human prostate cancer cells were injected into mice, feeding the animals pomegranate extract delayed the appearance of tumors. Tumor growth was significantly inhibited and survival was prolonged, Reuters health reports.
It's another plus for the Mediterranean fruit, which was recently reported by Italian researchers to have protective effects against heart disease in mice, preventing the build-up of fatty deposits along their artery walls, according to Forbes.
Still, it's a long way from these findings to proof that pomegranate juice could be used to treat or prevent human prostate cancer, said Hasan Mukhtar.
Moreover, he added, since his group has also shown that pomegranate extract inhibits skin cancer growth, it is possible that the juice would be of benefit in many types of cancer. AM