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Pomegranate

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Pomegranate fruit originating from the tree Punica granatum has long been thought to possess general health and anti-cancer properties via its high concentration of polyphenols and anti-oxidants, particularly ellagic acid.  

 

Why are antioxidants and plant polyphenols important?

Polyphenols are natural plant based chemicals found in healthy foods which enhance our health and protect us from illnesses. Their antioxidant properties protect us from environmental and ingested chemicals which damage our DNA via a process called oxidation. Many studies have linked anti-oxidant rich foods with a lower risk of cancer and other chronic illnesses such as high cholesterol, dementia, arthritis, skin aging and macular degeneration (blindness). There are studies which report that the polyphenols and anti-oxidants in pomegranate could have an anti-cancer effect. 

Anti-cancer properties of pomegranate

Laboratory studies show it inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in androgen sensitive human prostate cancer cells and implanted animal models [Retitig 2008].  In humans, in a phase II study, the PSA doubling time (PSAdt) significantly prolonged from 15 to 54 months in men with PSA relapse given 200ml pomegranate juice a day. The serum baseline oxidative state also significantly lowered after consumption [Pantuck 2006]. This was supported by a study from Johns Hopkins which gave men with PSA progressive prostate cancer, pomegranate seed extract for 6 months. The PSAdt extended from 12 to 19 months and androgen levels in men did not change [Carducci 2011]. 

These laboratory and clinical studies have confirmed that pomegranate has no androgenic or oestrogenic properties in the laboratory or humans. A further study using high performance liquid chromatography confirmed no steroid androgens or estrogens within pomegranates [Choi 2006].  The only potential issue was a small study from Edinburgh which gave volunteers pomegranate juice daily. After 2 weeks there was a significant reduction in blood pressure, elevation in mood and lowering of anxiety but they also found that salivary testosterone levels increased [Al-Dujaili 2012]. No explanation was given but as pomegranate has no direct androgen activities this is likely to reflect a general improvement in the metabolism and a reduction in stress, which is associated with higher salivary testosterone [Hellhammer 1985].

Safety issues

Pomegranate, like many fruit juices, is a weak inhibitor of cytochrome P450 (CYP2C9). There is, therefore, a small potential risk of reducing the metabolism, and thereby increasing serum levels, of warfarin and anti-hypertensives such as captopril, ramipril or anti-consulsants such a carbimazole (for more details see; www.rxlist.com). Individuals on warfarin or these blood pressure tablets are not excluded from taking Pomi-t and no adverse changes in blood pressure or INR were reported in the Pomi-T study but it may be advisable repeat a blood pressure and an INR test within two weeks of starting. Many antioxidants including those in curcumin, green tea pomegranate and broccoli extract can inhibit apoptosis induced by some chemotherapy drugs. There are cell line data to suggest that anti-oxidants can possibly reduce the action of chemotherapy although this has not been substantiated in humans [Somasundaram 2002]. In view of this potential interaction taking regular Pomi-T during chemotherapy is best avoided.


 

Our recommendation: Pomegranate (whole) extract combination

Eating pomegranate can be pleasant and tasty but the seed contains more of the anti-oxidants which is not absorbed if eating the fruit or drinking the juice -taking a crushed seed extract supplement ensures a higher daily dose.. There are many pomegranate extracts are available on the open market but it would be advisable to take a tablet which has a good quality source of the whole fruit with the sugar removed and has been combined with other anti-oxidant rich foods.   Pomi-T® contains a broad range of healthy plant based polyphenols and antioxidants within four natural super food  green tea | broccoli | pomegranate | turmeric. The whole food ingredients have been dried, concentrated then squeezed into a tablet for a convenient way to boost daily intake. The rationale for combining four different foods types (berry, vegetable, spice and leaf) was to provide a wide spectrum of naturally healthy polyphenol nutrients, whilst at the same time avoiding over-consumption of one particular type. Ingredients were also selected to avoid foods with high phytoestrogenic or hormonal properties.  Each supplement tablets contains:

Active ingredients:                                                                  No additives bulking or caking agents:
Broccoli Powder 150mg                                                        
Turmeric Powder 150mg                                                        
Pomegranate seed powder 150mg 
Green Tea 5:1 extract 30mg equivalent to 150mg

Pomi-T® has been investigated in a UK Government approved national scientific study which has the highest possible scientific design, the gold standard of all trials - A double blind, randomised (RCT) placebo controlled trial. The study is sponsored by the charity Prostate Action, has been adopted by the National Cancer Research Network (NCRN), has UK Ethics Committee certification and is independently audited to ensure adherence to European Good Clinical Practice Guidelines (GCP). The chief investigator Professor Robert Thomas is Chair of McMillan Survivorship Expert Advisory Committee and is a consultant Oncologist at Bedford, Cranfield and Cambridge University Hospitals. The trial is currently the world’s largest RCT of a food supplement to date and the full results will be available in early 2013.   

Contact information: Pomi-T is manufactured in the UK, from natural ingredients, to the highest quality assurance standards and EU compliance regulations. Pomi-T is owned by natureMedical Products.  Website:  www.pomi-t.com | Email: support@pomi-t.com  

 


References

Al-Dujaili et al. Benefits of pomegranate consumption (2012). Endocrine Abstracts 28, 313.
Carducci et al.  A phase II study of pomegranate extract for men with rising PSA (2011). JCO, 29: 7, 11.
Chan et al. Role of diet in prostate cancer development and progression (2005). JCO, 23(32): 8152.
Choi et al. The structure of pomegranate has no hormonal component (2006). Mass Spec Food Chem, 96; 4, 562.
Davigulus et al. Vitamin C diet and prostate cancer risk. Epidemiology 2006, (5) 474-7.
Giovannucci et al . A prospective study of tomato products, lycopene, and cancer risk (2002). Journal NCI, 94, 391-398.
Hellhammer D et al Salivary testosterone and stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology (1985) Vol.10, p77.
Heinen MM et al. Intake of antioxidant nutrients and the risk of skin cancer (2007) EJC 43; (18) pp 2707.
Joseph MA, et al  Cruciferous vegetables, genetic polymorphisms and prostate cancer risk. Nutr Cancer. 2004;50(2):206-213.
Jatoi A et al. A phase II trial of green tea in patients with metastatic prostate carcinoma. Cancer. 2003;97(6):1442.
Khan N et al Pomegranate inhibits growth of primary lung tumors in mice. Cancer Res 2007;67:3475-82.
McLarty J Tea Polyphenols – biochemical mode of action (2009). Cancer Prev Res: 1940-6207.CAPR-08-0167.
McMillan M, et al. The effect of dietary brussels sprouts on thyroid function." Human Toxicol. 1986;5:15.
Moysich et al . Cruciferous Vegetables, Genetic Polymorphisms in GST and Cancer Risk (2007). Nutrition & Can 50(2), 206.
Ogunleye AA et al. Green tea and breast cancer risk of recurrence: A meta-analysis.(2010) Breast Cancer Res &Treat; 119(2):477.
Pisters KM et al. Phase I trial of oral green tea extract in adult patients with solid tumors. J Clin Oncol. 2001;19(6):1830.
Retitig et al Pomegranate extract inhibits growth in androgen specific cell lines Mol Cancer Ther 2008: 7:2662.
Sarkar et al. Indole-3-carbinol and prostate cancer (2004). J Nutr. 134 (12) 349 (8s).
Shah BH et al. Inhibitory effect of curcumin, on platelet-activating factor (1999) Biochem Pharmacol. 58(7):1167.
Somasundaram et al. Curcumin inhibits chemotherapy-induced apoptosis in models of cancer. Cancer Res. 2002;62(13):3868.
Sonn et al Impact of diet on prostate cancer: A review (2005). Prostate cancer and prostate disease, 8: p. 304.
Steward et al Curcurmin in cancer management(2008). Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 52 (9) pp 1005.
Shanafelt TD et al Phase I Trial of tea extract Daily  in patients with CLL. (2009). J Clin Oncol; 27(23): 3808–3814.
Sun CL et al  Green tea and cancer risk: The Singapore Chinese Health Study. (2007) Carcinogenesis; 28(10):2143
Thomas et al. Can dietary intervention alter prostate cancer progression. 2007. Nutrition & Food Science, 37, 1, 24-36.
Thomas et al. A double blind RCT of lifestyle in patients with prostate cancer. (2009) Nutrition & Food Science, 39(3):295 – 305.
Wilkinson et al Critical review of complementary therapies for prostate cancer (2003). JCO, 21(11): p. 2199-2210.
Wu AH et al. Tea, hormone-related cancers and endogenous hormone levels (2006). Molecular Nutrition & Food Res; 50(2):160.
Rezai-Zadeh K et al. Green tea reduces amyloid mediated cognitive impairment in mice (2008) Brain Res.12;1214:177

 

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