Should I Drink Pomegranate Juice for Breast Cancer Cure - Does It REALLY Help?

There is no doubt that the mere mention of cancer will send chills through your spine, especially if YOU are the one suffering from this devastating disease.

I would love to have a cure and I know scientists are working hard on this. Many factors are linked to breast cancer, including those that we have control over and those that we do not.

Diet is believed to play a large role in reducing the risk of getting all types of cancer. One of my patients asked me what I thought about pomagranate juice. His wife had surgery on one of her breast and is currently going through chemotherapy. He had a friend tell him that pomegranate contains cancer-killing substances that help with curing cancer.

Of course, I cautioned him that the word "cure" is far too optimistic as an expected outcome. However, there is reason to believe that pomegranate juice contains some potentially useful cancer-fighting substances.

Pomegranate juice has a rich source of polyphenols known to have a beneficial effect on controlling the sex hormone levels. Not all breast cancer tissues grow in response to higher levels of certain sex hormones. But for women with breast cancer tissue that grows in the presence of female sex hormones, lowering these hormones with pomegranate juice, if it actually works, could shrink the breast cancer tissues. This is all theoretical, I cautioned him.

Let's look at several research studies that might give us insight into the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice in reducing cancer risks…

Research Study #1

In this study, the researcher showed that extract of pomegranate juice seemed to have antiproliferative activities that could be used to treat cancer. They looked at various concentrations of the extract and found that it has antitumor activities on human lung non-small cell cancer cells, breast cancer cells, ovarian cancer cells and prostate cancer cells.

Ovarian cancer cells were affected the most by the pomegranate extract, followed by breast, prostate and non-small cell lung cancer cells. And these responses were significant when compared to cells not exposed to the extract.

However, I would not draw any conclusion on its potential benefits in treating breast cancer. Drinking pomegranate juice or eating the fruit is not the same as injecting the extracted juice directly onto cancer cells in a test tube. Indeed, by the time your body has somehow managed to get the cancer-fighting substance into your bloodstream, there is no certainty that it would actually arrive, intact, at the cancerous cells.

Or, there is no guarantee that it would get there in a high enough concentration to actually be of any benefit.
As an example to make this concept clear, putting a drop of alcohol on a cell will kill it. However, drinking alcohol doesn't kill you, as witnessed by the billions of people around the world drinking alcohol.

our liver processes all the "stuff" and acts as a gate keeper to prevent harmful substances from entering into your bloodstream. It is possible that many of the beneficial anti-cancer substances will have been made chemically inactive by the time it reaches the bloodstream.

Here's the reference to this study:

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016;17(3):1119-22.
Anti Tumoral Properties of Punica granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Extract in Different Human Cancer Cells.
Seidi K, Jahanban-Esfahlan R, Abasi M, et al.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27039735

Research Study #2

In this study involving 64 healthy post-menopausal women, this group of researcher randomly assigned them to either drink 8 oz. of pomogranate juice or apple juice for 3 weeks.

They wanted to find out if pomegranate juice has any effect on blood levels of the female and male hormones. (As you might know, some forms of breast cancer respond to hormones and can grow more aggressively if exposed to more of them.)

What the researchers found was that there were no changes in any of the sex hormones between the groups that drank pomegranate juice versus the group that were given apple juice.

However, if the researchers isolated just those 38 women who had normal weight, there appeared to be a significant drop in both the male (testosterone) and female (estrone) levels.

There is far too little data to draw any conclusion from this one study. It was a very small study and the overall results do not support any benefit for the average female. Although it could offer a slightly greater benefit for women who are not overweight, another separate study will need to be done to confirm this initial finding.

Here's the reference to this study:

Effects of Pomegranate Juice on Hormonal Biomarkers of Breast Cancer Risk.
Kapoor R, Ronnenberg A, Puleo E, et al.
Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(7):1113-9.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26327495

Research Study #3

And the hope that the anti-cancer benefits of polyphenols found in pomegranate juice will ever reach the cancer cells, this study clearly shows that it doesn't even get there in the active cancer-fighting form. Thanks to the efficient workings of your liver, the polyphenols get destroyed chemically into ellagic acid and then get further metabolized.

The researchers were actually investigating a way of delivering polyphenols to the cancer cells using nanoparticles so that they would reach the target cancer cells in their active forms.

So it looks like the drink the juice or eating pomegranate, which might be good for your heath, doesn't bring the cancer-fighting substance anywhere near the cancerous cells in their original active form that is needed for it to do its magic.

Here's the reference to this study:

Nanoencapsulation of pomegranate bioactive compounds for breast cancer chemoprevention.
Shirode AB, Bharali DJ, Nallanthighal S, et al.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2015 Jan 9;10:475-84.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25624761

 

Bottom Line

Should I, as someone suffering from cancer, consider eating or drinking pomegranate juice?

No. Don't bother.

Preliminary data does not show any promise at all. The studies only showed what it does to the hormone levels that affect the risk of cancer. It said nothing directly about the benefit in helping reduce breast cancer. The study did not look into that outcome, which is what really matters to you.

Even if you were to drink massive amount.of the juice, it would still not work. Moreover, the amount of sugar that will go through your system would cause other health issues.

As research continues, we may discover that another type of fruit that offers greater benefits for cancer sufferers. And what then if all you drank was pomegranate juice?

Moreover, on another related topic, you are also far better off eating the fruit rather than to just drink the juice. The whole fruit contains many other active ingedients that are just not found in the juice alone. And drinking just the juice alone would overload your body with sugars without the fibers found in the fruit to slow down the absorption of the sugars.

That’s the best advance anyone can give you. And I would wager that your mother would agree with this as well.

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As you are aware, there are many herbs and natural supplements are traditionally used by people around the world to support immune health and to hopefully fight against cancer.

See the revealing detailed article below to get a comprehensive list of remedies for cancer that people are using from around the world.

The List of Natural Remedies for Cancer

small sample of natural remedies for cancer table