The Anti-Cancer Potential Of Pomegranate

Pomegranate also referred to as a divine fruit, is a round fruit with hard, shiny red-yellow skins. It can be eaten raw or juiced. This fruit has been used as medicine in many cultures throughout history since it possesses anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-tumor properties and is said to be a good source of various vitamins, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid. Aside from these, pomegranate also has high levels of anthocyanins, flavonoids, phenols and tannin content.

When it comes to fighting cancers, pomegranate has been found to play a major role. Check this out.

It Contains Anti-Cancer Phytochemicals

Studies revealed that pomegranate has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that are more powerful than those present in green tea. Some of the compounds that contribute to these effects are the following:

Ellagic acid – this block ulcerative colitis growth which causes intestinal cancer.

Punicalagin – is the largest molecular weight and most abundant polyphenol present in pomegranate and is responsible for more than 50% of its juice’s potent antioxidant activity.

Luteolin – this flavonoid compound has been used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat various pathologies.

In a study, researchers have found that pomegranate’s components can efficiently affect multiple signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cellular transformation, hyperproliferation, angiogenesis, initiation of tumorigenesis, and eventually suppressing the final steps of tumorigenesis and metastasis. It has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.

Its Juice Can Help Treat Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among men.

In a study presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in 2009, results have shown that consumption of 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a day may slow the progression of prostate cancer.

For the study, researchers have examined patients who underwent surgery or chemotherapy. Participants were found to have increasing levels of prostate-specific androgen (PSA). By measuring how long it takes for PSA levels to double, healthcare providers were able to assess the severity of the condition. Pomegranate juice was found to prolong the doubling duration of PSA levels (15-54 months), thus making it effective against managing the condition. (PSA doubling time is a measure of cancer’s activity, with shorter times indicating more aggressive behavior.)

Helps Boost Recovery From The Side Effects Of Conventional Cancer Treatment

Aside from exposing the body from radiation, conventional cancer treatment – like chemotherapy – have lots of side effects. These include hair loss, sleep problems, urinary and bladder problems, anemia, flu-like symptoms, infection, bleeding, bruising, swelling and a lot more.

Chemotherapy uses a drug called fluorouracil (5FU). This drug is used in treating different cancers including breast, bowel, skin, stomach, esophageal (gullet), and pancreatic cancer. However, it can cause damages in the lining of the intestines.

According to a study, combining fluorouracil with pomegranate extracts had positive results. This works by protecting the intestinal lining from the damages that can be caused by the drug and can boost the effects of cancer treatment thus killing more cancer cells.

Contain Compounds That Can Help Inhibit Cancer Spread At Cellular Level

There are known ways of how pomegranate compounds fight against cancer. These include:

Inducing apoptosis – It is a form of programmed cell death, or “cellular suicide” wherein the cell shrinks and is cleaned out by the white blood cells.

Blocking cancer cell cycle – Pomegranate compounds work without affecting healthy cells. They only target cancer cell genes that give them the ability to divide.

Preventing cancer spread – Cancer cells can migrate to other organs inside the patient’s body. In a study, researchers at the University of California, Riverside have found that pomegranate compounds inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken their attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the metastasis ((a pathogenic spread) of cancer cells.