The 10 Ways Pomegranates Help You Beat Breast Cancer
While perusing the latest research on particular foods and supplements and their benefits for breast cancer, I came across so many research studies that indicate pomegranates offer big benefits for breast cancer (and other cancers as well), that I knew I must share this information with you.
You may have heard some of the marketing hype lately about the benefits of pomegranate juice, that it is full of antioxidants and vitamins that are good for us, but pomegranates have also been found to be extremely potent allies in the fight against breast cancer.
It’s All About The Polyphenols
The thing about pomegranates is what they contain — they have very potent little plant chemicals known as polyphenols. Polyphenols are a generic term for plant based molecules that have antioxidant activity and there are thousands of them. Pomegranate polyphenols, such as ellagic acid, punicic acid, ursolic acid, delphinidin, luteolin, and several anthocyanins, have been found to be very helpful for breast and other cancers.
The 10 Ways Pomegranates Offer Benefits For Breast Cancer Patients
1. Inhibit breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion for hormone receptor positive and negative breast cancer, for HER2 positive breast cancer, and for triple negative breast cancer 1, 6, 7, 8
2. Promote apoptosis, or planned cell death, a factor which is lacking in cancer cells, allowing unchecked growth 1, 7, 8
3. Have antitumor activity 2
4. Inhibit angiogenesis, the process by which developing tumors create new blood vessels to feed themselves 12
5. Inhibit aromatase activity and reduce side effects of letrozole 3
6. Inhibit metastasis, or the spread of cancer to other parts of the body 11
7 Help to regulate genetic activity in key genes associated with breast cancer and protect DNA from damage 1, 5, 10, 11
8. Reduce inflammation 2, 9
9. Improve the potency of Herceptin for those with HER2 positive breast cancer 4
10. Exert a protective effect on the bones, help to protect from osteoporosis 5, 9
I found it interesting that most of the research was done in China and I, for one, am thankful that they are out there doing this research and sharing it with us.
How to Easily Seed a Pomegranate
Since a lot of us did not grow up with pomegranates and its tough outer layer can be a bit daunting upon first inspection, I thought you might like some help on what to do with them.
1. Cut the crown end – this is the protruding knobby end – off the pomegranate, removing with it some of the pale-yellow pith. Be careful not to pierce the seeds within.
2. Lightly score the skin in quarters from stem to crown end.
3. Immerse the scored fruit in a large bowl of cool (filtered) water (we don’t need chlorine messing with perfection!) and soak for about 5 minutes. Holding the fruit under the water, break sections apart with your fingers, separating the seeds from membrane. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl.
4. Discard skin and membranes. Drain the seeds and dry for a few minutes on a paper towel.
Recipe for Pomegranate Berry Smoothie
A NutriBullet works best for this recipe. Use organic produce wherever possible.
2-3 leaves of kale
1/2 – 1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup blueberries, frozen
1/2 cup strawberries or raspberries, frozen
1 tablespoon freshly ground flaxseed
1/2 avocado, optional
Place ingredients into large NutriBullet container, fill it half full with filtered water or coconut water (be careful not to overfill). Blast ingredients together and enjoy the protection!
1. Ellagic acid induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through TGF-ß/Smad3 signaling pathway in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25647396
2. Review on anti-tumor effect of triterpene acid compounds — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25207885
3. Coadministrating luteolin minimizes the side effects of the aromatase inhibitor letrozole — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25138022
4. Anthocyanins potentiate the activity of trastuzumab in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070704
5. Pomegranate Fruit as a Rich Source of Biologically Active Compounds — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24818149
6. Ellagic acid exerts anti-proliferation effects via modulation of Tgf-ß/Smad3 signaling in MCF-7 breast cancer cells — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24528038
7. Delphinidin inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines — Link: http://synapse.koreamed.org/DOIx.php?id=10.4163/jnh.2013.46.6.503
8. Delphinidin Inhibits HER2 and Erk1/2 Signaling and Suppresses Growth of HER2-Overexpressing and Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cell Lines — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21792311
9. Pomegranate and its derivatives can improve bone health through decreased inflammation and oxidative stress in an animal model of postmenopausal osteoporosis — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24232379
10. Antiproliferative effects of pomegranate extract in MCF-7 breast cancer cells are associated with reduced DNA repair gene expression and induction of double strand breaks — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23359482
11. Pomegranate juice and specific components inhibit cell and molecular processes critical for metastasis of breast cancer — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23065001
12. Ellagic acid, a phenolic compound, exerts anti-angiogenesis effects via VEGFR-2 signaling pathway in breast cancer — Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22350787
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