Prostate and pomegranates

There’s new hope for men with prostate cancer when their disease doesn’t respond adequately to standard medical care. According to the results of a six year study just published in the Journal of Urology, pomegranate juice can lower PSA levels and slow down the progress of prostate cancer.

This was a two-stage clinical trial where each research subject had a rising prostate specific antigen (PSA) level after surgery or radiation therapy greater than 0.2 ng/ml and less than 5 ng/ml. The study participants were given eight ounces of pomegranate juice to drink daily for several years. Then patients who remained in the study and drinking pomegranate juice were compared to those no longer participating in the juice regimen.

Though both these groups of men with prostate cancer had demonstrated similar mean PSA doubling times at baseline when the study began, there was a clear and important difference in the groups after 56 months. The researchers are cautious about suggesting pomegranate juice could prevent prostate cancer, but anyone receiving treatment could add it to their diet and be getting a range of other health benefits.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and over the last 30 years rates in Great Britain have almost tripled, although much of the increase is due to increased detection through widespread use of the PSA test. Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in UK men, after lung cancer, though happily the survival rate has more than doubled. Around 7 in 10 newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients now survive beyond five years whereas in the 1970s it was only 3 in 10.

Pomegranate juice benefits for everyone As it has very good antioxidant properties, it has been evaluated for its usefulness in fighting certain forms of cancer and been tentatively shown to reduce incidence of breast and skin cancer. It has many health benefits particularly for heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

These include:

  • it works well as a blood thinner
  • is an agent for promoting blood flow to the heart
  • reduces plaque in the arteries
  • raises “good” levels of cholesterol
  • helps lower “bad” cholesterol

The most effective antioxidant juice – Honest

It used to be that you just went into the supermarket, and bought juice. Probably orange or apple and that was that. Now the packs all scream about being one of your 5 a day, or that they are rich in antioxidants and can reduce your levels of free radicals – in their opinion, which is rarely backed up by any facts and figures. You know that to be healthy you need a decent level of antioxidants in your diet, but with up to a dozen or so manufacturers all claiming the same thing for their product – so just who do you believe?

Happily for us, the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry has just reported on some research done at the University of California which definitively proves which juice has more antioxidants than any other drink, including other juices, green or black tea, and red wine.

Ready for it? The winner is pomegranate juice, which has around 20% more antioxidants than other drinks tested. They carried out a series of tests to determine their antioxidant levels and abilities to scavenge for free radicals. The pomegranate juice was a clear winner on all counts as was their conclusion and it has been linked to many other health benefits including a 50% reduction in Alzheimer’s risk, and suggested as part of a cancer prevention diet, particularly prostate cancer.


February 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Healthy Ageing, Wellness

Every supermarket chiller has pomegranate juice as it is the new ‘superfood’ and studies have shown numerous health benefits ranging from protection against prostate cancer, slowing cartilage loss in arthritis, and potentially preventing Alzheimer’s. Although I personally don’t drink it as it doesn’t suit my ‘blood group’ type there is even more evidence that it can be good for you. According to the results of a new study done in China – where they seem to have cornered the market in anti-ageing as I presume they glug the stuff down while doing their early morning tai chi – pomegranate juice is more effective than apple juice in boosting the body’s antioxidant defences, which decline naturally with age.

They gave their research subjects (average age 63) a 250ml glass of pomegranate juiced every day for a month and found that the anti-oxidant capacity of their blood was increased by almost 10% while a control group, who drank apple juice, showed negligible changes.