I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite fruits only seems to come around at Christmastime.
Those hard-to-figure-out-how-to-eat fruits with the delightful gems of seeds on the inside that are oh-so-good for you, if you can only figure out how to get them open!
Given how often we hear about different foods found in nature that can help treat, prevent, or even heal in some cases, numerous diseases, it makes sense that pomegranates might be in that mix.
What often ends up happening, though, is we don’t know exactly how to use that food for therapeutic purposes.
And not just because most of us don’t know how to eat a pomegranate.
For example, do you eat the food whole? Do you drink it in juice form? Essential oils? Peels? Seeds?
These are important questions to ask so we are not misdirected and go forward eating foods we think will help, only to miss out on their benefits due to consuming it in the wrong form or wrong amount.
And with a food like pomegranates that so many find confusing to eat to begin with, it’s even more important.
That is what makes this study that was published in the February 2002 edition of the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment so interesting.
Researchers from Pusan National University in Korea tested three different forms of pomegranate to determine its possible efficacy in treating breast cancer.
They looked at polyphenol-rich extracts of pomegranates, as well as the crude fermented juice concentrate, unfermented juice concentrate, and whole oil from which the polyphenol-rich extracts were extracted.
Their results, which were very encouraging, should give health care practitioners a leg up in determining what might work for their patients.
Among of laundry list of positive responses to the various forms of pomegranate, a few stood out.
When it came to the estrogen-dependent breast cancer cell line (MCF-7), pomegranate seed oil achieved 90% inhibition of the cell line at 100 microg/ml. It also achieved 75% inhibition of invasion across a Matrigel membrane at 10 microg/ml.
It also induced apoptosis (cell death) at 54% in the estrogen-independent breast cancer cell line, MB-MDA-231.
These are unequivocally great results, for an in vitro study.
As for the pomegranate juices, the fermented juice appeared to outperform the non-fermented juice to the tune of about double the anti-proliferative effect.
These findings give a great head start into very necessary additional studies to see how this might benefit humans, and how to achieve those benefits.
Also, to give us a better idea of how we might be able to apply this in our personal lives at home with products from our local grocery stores, if possible.
In the meantime, if your family puts out a few pomegranates at the Christmas dinner table this year, maybe it’s time to put the effort into opening one up and enjoying it, so long as you’re not allergic of course.
Who knows, it could be the start of a very beneficial new habit.
Here’s to your health!
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