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Pomegranates Put to the Test for Prostate Cancer

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The pomegranate “has been revered through the ages for its medicinal properties”––a lot in order that it’s been used as an emblem for some medical organizations. A fruit appears to me a greater illustration of health than the American Medical Association’s snake on a stick.

The pomegranate is believed to be useful for a variety of illnesses, together with a number of sorts of most cancers, heart problems, and rheumatoid arthritis. Evidently even the cannibals adore it because it improves the shade of “kid meat.” The researchers had been speaking about baby goats, however the title of their examine did make me do a double-take!

Most of the attention over the final decade has targeted on pomegranates and prostate most cancers. In vitro research have proven that pomegranate extract can suppress the development of prostate most cancers cells in a petri dish by up to 95 p.c. As you possibly can see in my video Pomegranate vs. Placebo for Prostate Cancer, there is no such thing as a actual distinction between what regular prostate cells appear to be below a microscope with slightly or a number of pomegranate extract; it doesn’t appear to have a lot of an impact on healthy cells. However, prostate most cancers cells are decimated by pomegranate extract—no less than in a petri dish, however what about in a person? If these outcomes translated to the clinic, it might be dramatic, however we first want to attempt it out in individuals.

“Primary management of prostate cancer…consists of either radical surgery or radiation therapy.” Despite this, “a significant number of patients relapse and ultimately develop metastatic disease.” Even after radical prostatectomy, the most cancers comes again in about one-third of the sufferers, as evidenced by rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) ranges. At that time, the therapy choices are restricted as the prostate has already been eliminated. The subsequent step is actually chemical castration, or hormonal ablation. Just like breast most cancers can thrive on estrogen, prostate most cancers can thrive on testosterone. We can attempt to wipe out testosterone, however that may have such destructive unwanted effects that something we will do to delay that may be good. 

So, what about crops? Men in Asia seem to have the lowest prostate most cancers charges in the world, up to ten occasions decrease than males in North America. Is this merely due to genetics? No. When Japanese people transfer to the United States and start dwelling and eating like us, their breast and prostate most cancers charges shoot proper up towards ours. It might be due to what they start eating extra of: animal merchandise, that are the strongest danger issue for prostate most cancers worldwide on a country-by-country foundation. Or, it might be due to what they’re eating much less of in the United States, particularly their conventional low-fat, high-fiber, usually plant-rich weight loss program with soy merchandise and inexperienced tea. So, did the researchers put the most cancers sufferers on a plant-based weight loss program? No, they simply had them drink a cup of pomegranate juice daily. Why? Because the examine was funded by a pomegranate juice firm.

In the three years main up to the examine, members’ most cancers was steadily rising, as measured by the improve of their common PSA ranges. Once they started the juice, their tumors continued to develop, but it surely regarded like they had been rising slower. In distinction, Dean Ornish and his colleagues acquired an obvious reversal in early prostate most cancers development with a plant-based weight loss program and different healthy way of life modifications. Indeed, PSA didn’t simply go up slower—it trended down. And, when dripping the blood of the males on prostate most cancers cells rising in a lab, the blood serum of these eating healthfully suppressed most cancers development almost eight occasions higher, whereas the blood of the males on the pomegranate juice suppressed most cancers development by solely about 12 p.c. Still, to see any impact from consuming a cup of juice a day is fairly spectacular.

The drawback is that there was no management group in the pomegranate juice examine. We may say the sufferers acted as their very own controls, earlier than and after. It’s in all probability not only a coincidence that their tumors started rising slower proper once they started the juice. But, a drug trial tried to do the similar factor—deal with males with recurring prostate most cancers after surgical procedure or radiation. In the drug group, tumor development slowed in 55 p.c of the males. A reasonably efficient drug, proper? Well, the sugar tablet labored 73 p.c of the time. The placebo impact might be so highly effective that it might gradual most cancers development. This is why we want placebo-controlled trials. Maybe tricking individuals into consuming pomegranate-flavored Kool-Aid would have had the similar impact. We don’t know till we put it to the check.

Finally, researchers did a randomized, managed trial of pomegranate juice for prostate most cancers, and the every day pomegranate consumption had no influence. What do they imply, no influence? Twenty-five p.c of the most cancers sufferers appeared to shrink their tumors as quickly as they started consuming the pomegranate juice, however 35 p.c shrunk their tumors not consuming pomegranate juice. So, any impact seems simply to be a placebo. It’s the similar story with pomegranate extract tablets: They appeared to work till they went head to head with sugar tablets and fell flat on their face.


I like pomegranates! Unfortunately, the juice and extracts look no extra promising right now than once I produced my video Is Pomegranate Juice That Wonderful?.

For some meals that will really have an effect on prostate most cancers development, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t but, you possibly can subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my reside, year-in-review displays:

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