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Pomegranate Packs a Punch

Posted Feb 17 2012 12:47pm

The pomegranate fruit is a rich source of antioxidants, high in three different types of polyphenols – tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid.  Emerging research suggests that the pomegranate may confer cancer protection for both men and women.

The cytochrome P450 enzyme, CYP1B1, is an established target in prostate cancer chemoprevention, and  scientists are engaged in efforts to identify compounds that inhibit CYP1B1 activity and thus confer beneficial effects against prostate cancer development.  University of Mississippi (Mississippi, USA) researchers completed an in vitro experiment that found that two antioxidants present in pomegranates, the ellagitannin compounds of punicalagins and punicalins, exert potent capacities to inhibit CYP1B1. 

The pomegranate fruit contains anti-aromatase phytochemicals and is rich in ellagitannins, two compounds that are associated with anti-cancer properties.    A team from the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope (California, USA) examined a panel of 10 ellagitannin-derived compounds in pomegranates, and discovered that those compounds have the potential to prevent estrogen-responsive breast cancers.  Specifically, Urolithin B, which is a metabolite produced from ellagic acid and related compounds, significantly inhibited cell growth. 

Low in calories and packed with flavor, snack on fresh pomegranate or drink the juice.  It’s a simple and tasty way to boost your antioxidant reserves.

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