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Pomegranate juice may prevent advanced breast cancer

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By Jimmy Downs

Tuesday Oct 16, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Drinking pomegranate juice or taking supplements prepared from pomegranate fruits may help prevent advanced breast cancer, according to a study in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

A. Rocha Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California Riverside in Riverside, California and colleagues conducted the study and found evidence suggesting that eating pomegranate fruit or drinking its juice may reduce the risk of preventing breast cancer from progressing to become an advanced disease.

Specifically, the researchers found pomegranate juice and some ingredients in the fruit juice inhibited cell and molecular processes involved in the metastasis of breast cancer, meaning that the fruit juice may slow, delay or prevent the disease from progressing to become an advanced disease.

Pomegranate juice and three of its specific components have been demonstrated to inhibit physiological processes involved in prostate cancer metastasis.  So it should not be too surprising to know that the juice also inhibits breast cancer metastasis.

The study was conducted in vitro, that is, in two breast cancer cell lines, one estrogen receptor negative (ER-) and the other estrogen receptor positive (ER+), and also a normal cell line. 

In addition to inhibiting breast cancer cell growth, pomegranate juice or a combination of three of its ingredients, luteolin (L), ellagic acid (E), and punicic acid (P) were found to be able to increase cancer cell adhesion and decrease cancer cell migration. However, pomegranate juice and the combo did not affect healthy cells.

Additionally, "these treatments also inhibit chemotaxis of the cancer cells to SDF1α, a chemokine that attracts breast cancer cells to the bone," the researchers reported.

The researchers said "Discovery that PJ (pomegranate juice) and L + E + P (luteolin, ellagic acid, and punicic acid) are inhibitory of metastatic processes in breast cancer cells in addition to prostate cancer cells indicate that they are potentially a very effective treatment to prevent cancer progression in general."

Breast cancer is expected to be diagnosed in more than 230,000 women in 2012 in the United States, the disease and its complications and treatments are expected to kill more than 37,000 women in the same year and same country, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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