Prostate is a walnut sized gland present below the urinary bladder in males. The main function of the gland is to produce secretions that add volume to the semen. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. The incidence of the cancer in Asian men is comparatively lower.
With respect to cancer prevention, an assessment of the risk factors is important. It is equally important to know about agents that offer protection against prostate cancer. Substances like lycopene (found in tomato sauce), Selenium have been found to be associated with reduced risk. A new addition has been made in the above category following the discovery that pomegranate juice may ward off prostate cancer.
Pomegranates are packed with healthy anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Earlier research had shown that pomegranate extract is effective against tumours in mouse skin. In tests on mice, the juice dramatically slowed down the growth of prostate cancer cells.
The human prostate cancer cell lines were treated with the under experimental conditions. It was found that the extract killed the cancer cells in a dose-dependent way. The higher the dose of pomegranate juice, the more tumour cells died.
Next the tests were conducted on mice injected with prostate cancer cells taken from humans. A total of 24 mice were divided into three groups. One was given normal water to drink, while the others had their water supplemented with 0.1% or 0.2% of pomegranate juice. The doses were chosen to mirror how much juice a typically healthy person might be willing to consume daily.
The results were dramatic characterized by significantly lower cancer progression in mice receiving the higher pomegranate dose. Furthermore, blood tests revealed decreased levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker commonly used to monitor prostate cancer.