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Pomegranate: Purple coloured energy bomb.

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Pomegranate, a hope against prostate cancer


What is the prostate?


Pomegranate juice is known for its many vitality-enhancing properties, including its positive effects on the prostate. Several scientific studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of pomegranate juice consumption on prostate-related problems and the results are promising.

The prostate is a gland located below the bladder. It plays an important role in the production of seminal fluid, which is essential for male fertility. However, over time, the prostate can be affected by various health problems, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer.


What is prostate cancer?


Did you know that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, after lung cancer? However, within the next ten years, the trend will be reversed [1].


It is a slowly progressing disease, hence the interest in detecting it as early as possible, from the age of 45 in men. It results from the uncontrolled multiplication of prostate cells. The tumour can spread to other parts of the body over a period of several years, such as the lymph nodes near the prostate, the bones or the liver [1]. There may be no symptoms at the beginning of prostate cancer. They start to appear as the prostate increases in size and the urethra is compressed. Prostate cancer can be diagnosed by a digital rectal examination and a blood test for PSA. PSA is the specific antigen of the prostate but not of prostate cancer. Its level can give indications of a potential problem with the prostate. In the event of an attack, PSA is released into the bloodstream in proportion to the severity of the attack. A normal PSA level is 4 ng/mL but a higher level does not necessarily mean cancer [2].


 Our range of pure pomegranate juice
Taking care of your prostate with pomegranate juice


How to take good care of your prostate?


There are several risk factors such as age, heredity, environment and diet. Indeed, studies have shown that diets high in saturated fat and excessive calcium consumption have a negative effect on prostate cancer [3]. However, diet can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. An excellent example is the consumption of antioxidants. Indeed, studies have shown that consumption of certain antioxidants reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer. For example, in a study conducted in Finland, a group of individuals receiving vitamin E at a dose of 50 mg/day had a significant reduction in the incidence of prostate cancer [4]. These studies support the idea that the role of antioxidants is crucial in chronic inflammation of the prostate.


In addition, pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which have been associated with a reduced risk of cancer and improved overall health. In particular, the polyphenols in pomegranate juice have been associated with anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and antioxidant effects. The dominant polyphenols in pomegranate are ellagitannins, such as punicalagin, and phenolic acids, such as ellagic and gallic acids. Punicalagin is considered to be specific to pomegranate. Anthocyanins and quercetin are also found.


The most dramatic study was carried out by Allan Pantuck's team who, by giving 240ml of pomegranate juice daily to prostate cancer patients, saw a significant increase in the time to double PSA levels from 15 to 54 months, a marker of slower tumour growth and longer survival. In addition, patients who continued to take pomegranate juice did not develop metastases during the subsequent 33 months. [5]


Several teams have highlighted the mechanisms by which pomegranate polyphenols have cotherapeutic effects in cancer. They block NF kappa B, an inflammation conductor that is essential for cell proliferation [6]. They interfere with the androgen receptors that act as promoters. They interfere with IGF1, a second messenger of growth hormone that is also a promoter. They block iron and copper, pro-inflammatory minerals with proliferative effects.[7]


Man doing yoga
Pomegranate: good for the prostate


In another study, researchers used pomegranate compounds, such as their polyphenols or pomegranate seed oil, to treat human prostate tumour cells. The pomegranate compounds were able to reduce cell proliferation and induce cell cycle arrest at checkpoints and apoptosis [8]. Apoptosis is a defence mechanism of the body, including the elimination of tumour cells.


Other studies on cell lines prove the anti-cancer effect of certain pomegranate compounds, notably punicic acid or omega 5 [9].


Another study indicates that ellagic acid, a polyphenol contained in pomegranate juice, is a potential chemotherapeutic agent against prostate cancer [10]. In terms of PSA levels, an in vivo study in men with prostate cancer found that consumption of pomegranate juice significantly reduced PSA levels [11].


In addition, another study conducted in 2008 showed that consumption of pomegranate juice slowed the progression of prostate cancer in mice with the disease [11]. This clinical study found that consumption of pomegranate juice significantly inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells in patients with early-stage prostate cancer. The researchers found that pomegranate juice reduced the growth of prostate cancer cells by 30% to 50%, suggesting that pomegranate juice may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.


In conclusion, several clinical studies suggest that drinking pomegranate juice may help prevent certain prostate-related diseases due to its antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is important to note that these studies were conducted on relatively small samples and further research is needed to confirm these results.


Cautions:


While pomegranate juice offers many benefits for prostate health, it is important to note that it can also interact with certain medications. If you are taking medication for blood pressure or erectile dysfunction, it is important to consult your doctor before consuming pomegranate juice.


In no case can the information and advice offered by Granaline replace a consultation or a diagnosis made by a doctor or a health professional, the only ones able to adequately assess your state of health.


References :

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4 Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group. The effect of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. N Engl J Med. 1994 Apr 14;330(15):1029-35. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199404143301501. PMID: 8127329.

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