Six compounds found in pomegranates may prevent the spread of breast cancer in women according to research published in the January 1st issue of Cancer Prevention Research.
Breast cancer relies on hormones to spread – so blocking those hormones can conceivably contain the disease before it causes worse problems.
The particular hormone that compounds in pomegranates block is aromatase, which changes androgen to estrogen. Doctors caution though that these are preliminary results as no human or animal testing has taken place.
Researchers screened 10 compounds in a group known as ellagitannins for the study. The compound urolithin B (UB) was found to have the greatest impact, appearing to restrict mechanisms that produce estrogen and promote the growth of breast cancer. UB was also found to prevent estrogen responsive breast cancer cells from multiplying.
Other phytochemicals found in pomegranates that were shown to block aromatase to a lesser extent include: urolithin A (UA), methylated UA, acetylated UA, methylated UB and UB sulfate.
Doctors emphasize that more study is needed. In vitro (test tube) results don’t always translate to animals and humans. Pomegranates have these cancer fighting compounds – but the body may not absorb those compounds from the fruit in a way that makes a difference.
Nevertheless, you can reduce your risk of several types of cancer by eating a healthy diet that’s low in red meat, processed meat, saturated fats and salts and high in fiber, fruits and vegetables.