Pomegranate juice affects prostate cancer: study
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pomegranate juice, a deep red juice becoming popular as a health drink, works against prostate cancer cells in lab dishes and in mice, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.
Prostate tumors shrank in mice infected with human prostate tumors who drank pomegranate juice, the researchers report in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The juice is rich in antioxidants — chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their deep colors and which also act against the chemicals that damage cells, leading to cancer and other disease.
“Our study — while early — adds to growing evidence that pomegranates contain very powerful agents against cancer, particularly prostate cancer,” said Dr. Hasan Mukhtar, a professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, who led the study.
“There is good reason now to test this fruit in humans — both for cancer prevention and for treatment,” he said in a statement.
It is a far step from treating mice infected with human cancer to treating people, but other studies have also suggested pomegranate juice and other antioxidant-rich foods may help fight tumors.
Prostate cancer is the second-biggest cancer killer of men after lung cancer, killing 30,000 this year, according to the American Cancer Society. It will be diagnosed in more than 230,000 U.S. men, many of whom will choose not to be treated but rather to watch a slow-growing tumor carefully.