Recent research has shown that an ingredient in pomegranates may help to slow the growth of breast cancer. In a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, ellagitannins in the fruit were found to inhibit an enzyme called aromatase in laboratory tests. Aromatase helps the body to produce oestrogen, which stimulates the growth of cancer cells. Drugs known as aromatase inhibitors are used to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
High levels of ellagitannin compounds were used in the study and it is not known if these levels could be achieved in animals or humans. However, Professor Stoner, of the Department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University suggested that people should ‘consider consuming more pomegranates to protect against cancer development in the breast and perhaps in other tissues and organs.’
Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C , vitamin B5, potassium and antioxidant polyphenols. Research has also shown that pomegranate juice can reduce systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients and reduce heart disease risk factors. The seeds of the fruit also provide fibe and unsaturated fat.