Posted by Margie King
While pomegranates have shown remarkable powers in supporting the health of both men and women, there is one reason that men in particular should love pomegranates. That reason is the power of pomegranate to support prostate health.
By the time they reach age 50, more than half of American men will suffer with some form of prostate problem including:
- Enlarged Prostate. More than 15 million men suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and its embarrassing symptoms, including low or weak urinary flow, urgency to urinate, frequent need to urinate, leakage and loss of sleep from nighttime bathroom visits.
- Prostate Cancer. Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among U.S. men, affecting one in six men during their lifetime.
- Erectile Dysfunction. Over 30 million men in the U.S. have erectile dysfunction or sexual impairment due to prostate disease.
Scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of pomegranate to help relieve symptoms of all these conditions. Here are just three ways that pomegranates support prostate health.
1. Pomegranate Reduces Inflammation Leading to Enlarged Prostate
Chronic inflammation is a key factor in BPH. Pomegranate juice, peel and seed oil all contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds that can combat chronic inflammation. Pomegranate seed oil also contains conjugated fatty acids, including punicic acid, that work just like prescription drugs to control inflammation but without the side effects.
In a study from UCLA, researchers found that the polyphenols in pomegranate juice, specifically total pomegranate ellagitannins, and punicalagin stop the signals that turn on inflammation in some cells and help induce the death of abnormal cells.
2. Pomegranate Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk
In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers evaluated the ability of pomegranate fruit extract to slow cell growth and encourage the death of abnormal cells in highly aggressive human prostate cancer.
They suggested that pomegranate juice might help prevent, as well as treat, prostate cancer in humans.
In another study conducted at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, researchers asked 46 men with recurrent prostate cancer to drink one 8-ounce glass of pomegranate juice every day. The men who drank the pomegranate juice saw their Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) doubling time slow down from 15 months to an astounding 54 months. PSA growth rates are an indication of abnormal cell growth and recurrence of prostate cancer.
Pomegranate fights cancer through the potent antioxidant capacity of its polyphenols. Pomegranate juice has been found to be a much more potent antioxidant than blueberry juice, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
In fact, as an antioxidant, pomegranate juice was found to be 100 times more powerful than blueberry juice and 300 times more powerful than grape juice, and its antioxidant activity was up to three times greater than that of green tea and red wine.
3. Pomegranate May Improve Erectile Dysfunction
A 2005 study on rabbits published in the Journal of Urology looked at the effect of long-term use of antioxidant drinks including pomegranate juice, blueberry, cranberry, and orange juice, green tea and red wine. The researchers found that pomegranate juice had the greatest power to decrease LDL oxidation and inhibit oxidative stress in cells.
For the rabbits that translated to increased penile blood flow, improved erectile response and smooth muscle response and prevented erectile tissue fibrosis that can lead to permanent damage.
Researchers are very excited about the promising effects of pomegranate for prostate health. These are just a few of the studies attesting to pomegranate’s prostate healing power.
Adams LS, Seeram NP, Aggarwal BB, Takada Y, Sand D, Heber D., Pomegranate juice, total pomegranate ellagitannins, and punicalagin suppress inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Feb 8;54(3):980-5.
Malik, et al., Pomegranate Fruit Juice For Chemoprevention And Chemotherapy Of Prostate Cancer, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.2005; 102(41).14813-18.
Pantuck AJ, Leppert JT, Zomorodian N, Aronson W, Hong J, Barnard RJ, Seeram N, Liker H, Wang H, Elashoff R, Heber D, Aviram M, Ignarro L, Belldegrun A. Phase II study of pomegranate juice for men with rising prostate-specific antigen following surgery or radiation for prostate cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Jul 1;12(13):4018-26.
Ignarro, LJ et. al., Pomegranate juice protects nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and enhances biological actions of nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide.2006; 15:93-102.
Kazem M. Azadzoi, Risa N. Schulman, Michael Aviram, Mike B. Siroky, Oxidative stress in arteriogenic erectile dysfunction: prophylactic role of antioxidants, The Journal of Urology, volume 174, issue 1, July 2005, pages 386–393