Prostate Cancer

Pomegranate Juice for Prostate Cancer

By Dr. Ben Kim

A study conducted at the University of California in Los Angeles and published in the July 1st, 2006 edition of Clinical Cancer Research suggests that drinking an 8 oz. glass of pomegranate juice on a daily basis can significantly slow the progress of prostate cancer.

Over a period of three years, researchers at UCLA monitored the PSA (prostate specific antigen - a chemical produced by cancer cells in the prostate gland) levels of 50 men who had previously received radiation or surgery for prostate cancer and showed signs of having their cancers return quickly. Participants were given an 8 oz. glass of pomegranate juice every day.

The researchers found that participants experienced a significant decrease in the rate at which their prostate cancers progressed. While most people with prostate cancer experience a doubling time of PSA within about 15 months, the 50 men who drank pomegranate juice on a daily basis experienced a doubling time of 54 months - less than a third of the typical rate.

Although we cannot know with certainty what produced these results, it is thought that the rich concentration of polyphenols - naturally occurring antioxidants - in pomegranates can help to slow down or prevent tissue damage and breakdown. Researchers suggest that isoflavones that naturally occur in pomegranates may also help to suppress or kill off cancer cells.

It should be noted that funding for this study was provided by a company that produces pomegranate juice.

Here are a few essential guidelines that I have found to be helpful in preventing and treating prostate cancer through natural means:

  • Regularly eat foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants. Pomegranate juice is a good choice for people who do not have problems with their blood sugar regulating mechanisms. Whole pomegranate seeds are a better choice than pomegranate juice.

  • Take a high quality source of saw palmetto, which can effectively reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) at 320 milligrams per day. Please note, however, that saw palmetto ingested as tea may not be as effective as taking the herb directly.

  • Avoid large amounts of cooked animal foods. I have found that most people with prostate issues respond positively to a green vegetable-based diet.

  • Try not to overeat. Even overeating healthy foods can exacerbate symptoms for people with BPH or prostate cancer.

  • Ensure adequate vitamin D status. Recent research out of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University's School of Public Health indicates that adequate vitamin D status may lower prostate cancer risk.

  • Strive for 8-10 hours or more of high quality sleep every day. Avoid artificial sources of light while sleeping, and use dark blinds or curtains to block out sunlight to ensure adequate sleeping hours during summer months.

  • Do your best to effectively manage your emotional stressors.

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