January 05, 2010
Pomegranate Cuts Breast Cancer Risk?

An in vitro study suggests that pomegranate might reduce breast cancer risk by reducing estrogen production.

Eating fruit, such as pomegranates, that contain anti-aromatase phytochemicals reduces the incidence of hormone-dependent breast cancer, according to results of a study published in the January issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Pomegranate is enriched in a series of compounds known as ellagitannins that, as shown in this study, appear to be responsible for the anti-proliferative effect of the pomegranate.

"Phytochemicals suppress estrogen production that prevents the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the growth of estrogen-responsive tumors," said principal investigator Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., director of the Division of Tumor Cell Biology and co-leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif.

Previous research has shown that pomegranate juice punica granatum L is high in antioxidant activity, which is generally attributed to the fruit's high polyphenol content. Ellagic acid found in pomegranates inhibits aromatase, an enzyme that converts androgen to estrogen. Aromatase plays a key role in breast carcinogenesis; therefore, the growth of breast cancer is inhibited.

What would this do to fertility? Anyone have any idea? Also, what other (perhaps mild) side effects would come from reduced estrogen production? Menopause causes problems. But pomegranate probably has a much smaller effect on estrogen production than menopause.

Have any studies been done on impact of foods on hormone levels? Do any foods appreciably lower estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, or other hormones?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 January 05 12:03 AM  Aging Diet Cancer Studies


Comments
Abbie said at January 6, 2010 1:31 PM:

If a patient is taking a AI after breast cancer, is it advisable to also eat pomegranates?

CindyInLA said at January 13, 2010 2:32 PM:

I'm a 2-time bc survivor and thriver - and have been totally revived by a dvd i just found made for women with breast cancer called 'The Path of Wellness And Healing.' It's like an encyclopedia for breast cancer but it's also moving, inspiring, the whole nine. Every doctor from deepak Chopra to Dean Ornish is on it and every celeb bc survivor from Sheryl Crow to Melissa Ethridge. So awesome!!!

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