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Pomegranate suppresses prostate cancer genes

10 years, 10 months ago

2442  0
Posted on Jan 08, 2009, 6 a.m. By Rich Hurd

Pomegranate extract and pomegranate juice may help to protect against prostate cancer by suppressing the expression of genes linked to the disease, say researchers.


Pomegranate extract and pomegranate juice may help to protect against prostate cancer by suppressing the expression of genes linked to the disease, say researchers.

In recent years, pomegranate has been shown to be good for cardiovascular health. However, there is now also a growing body of evidence that the fruit may help to prevent prostate cancer. It is thought that many of pomegranate's health benefits come from its rich supply of antioxidants, especially its ellagitannin compounds.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles studied the effect of pomegranate polyphenols, ellagitannin-rich extract, and whole juice extract on the expression of genes for key androgen-synthesizing enzymes and the androgen receptor. Results showed that pomegranate polyphenols led to a statistically significant two-fold suppression in the expression of genes linked to prostate cancer, furthermore the polyphenols were also found to stop the spread of prostate cancer and induce cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells.

The authors concluded: “This study showed that pomegranate products and their polyphenols reduced tumour cell growth and induced apoptosis in both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells. These anti-proliferative effects were also consistent in hormone-treated cells. This implies the potential possibility that pomegranate and its polyphenols are used as novel dietary supplements with maximum potential for androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate chemoprevention.”

Young Hong M, Seeram NP, Heber D. Pomegranate polyphenols down-regulate expression of androgen-synthesizing genes in human prostate cancer cells overexpressing the androgen receptor. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2008;19:848-855.

 

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