It's unfortunate that the pomegranate isn't a diet staple of the typical American man because an increasing amount of research suggests that pomegranate juice may help fight prostate cancer. The deep-red, sweet drink is rich in phytochemicals; in laboratory studies, phytochemicals have been shown to inhibit cancer growth and spread [source: Harvard Men's Health Watch, National Cancer Institute].
According to the National Cancer Institute's Web site, UCLA researchers currently are studying pomegranate juice as a way to slow or reverse PSA levels in men who've already been treated for prostate cancer and are trying to prevent its return. A phase II trial already has found that daily consumption of pomegranate juice resulted in a significant lengthening of the PSA doubling time, a measure that is a predictor of cancer progression and mortality. The scientists are now conducting a large-scale, Phase III study to verify their early findings [source: National Cancer Institute].
A daily glass of the crimson stuff may also be good for other things besides your prostate. The Harvard Men's Health Watch newsletter reported in 2007 that both animal and human studies suggest that pomegranate juice may help fight cardiovascular disease by preventing LDL -- the "bad cholesterol" -- from damaging your blood vessels, and by slowing the development of plaques in mice with atherosclerosis. Clinical studies also suggest that it may improve cardiac blood flow. But research also suggests that it may interfere with certain medications, so be sure to talk about that with your doctor [source: Harvard Men's Health Watch].
- Barnard, Neal D. MD. "Nutrition and Prostate Health." Cancerproject.org. Dec. 8, 2006. (Feb. 22, 2011)http://www.cancerproject.org/survival/cancer_facts/prostate_health.php
- "Daily NSAID use may reduce prostate cancer risk in older men." Reuters. March 28, 2003. (Feb. 22, 2011)http://www.oncolink.org/resources/article.cfm?c=3&s=8&ss=23&Year=2002&Month=03&id=8228
- "Health benefit of pomegranate juice on prostate cancer and the heart." Harvard Men's Health Watch. April 2007. (Feb. 22, 2011)http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/health-benefit-of-pomegranate-juice
- Ingels, Darin. "Lycopene Effective Adjunctive Prostate Cancer Treatment." Bastyr Center for Natural Health. 2003. (Feb. 22, 2011)http://bastyrcenter.org/content/view/392/
- "Lifestyle and diet may stop or reverse prostate cancer progression." UCSF. Aug. 15, 2005. (Feb. 22, 2011)http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2005/08/5307/lifestyle-and-diet-may-stop-or-reverse-prostate-cancer-progression
- "Pomegranate." CRFG.org. (Feb. 22, 2011)http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/pomegranate.html
- "Pomegranate Juice for PSA-only Prostate Cancer Recurrence." National Cancer Institute. March 26, 2010. (Feb. 22, 2011)http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/featured/trials/ucla-0507059-02
- "Prostate Cancer." Mayo Clinic. Feb. 3, 2010. (Feb. 22, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prostate-cancer/DS00043
- Prostate-Specific Antigen Test (PSA). National Cancer Institute. March 18, 2009 (Feb. 22, 2011)http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/PSA
- Tufts University. "Diet and Stress Reduction May Help in Prostate Cancer." Health and Age. Feb. 23, 2004. (Feb. 23, 2011)http://www.healthandage.com/Diet-and-Stress-Reduction-May-Help-in-Prostate-Cancer
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