According to a study presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in 2009, drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a day may slow the progression of prostate cancer.
The study included 48 men who had a rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level following radiation therapy or surgery to treat localized prostate cancer. At the start of the study in 2003, the men had PSA levels greater than 0.2 and less than 5.0 ng/ml, and an average PSA doubling time of 15.4 months. (PSA doubling time is a measure of cancer’s activity, with shorter times indicating more aggressive behavior.) In 2006, researchers reported that the men who drank 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily had slower PSA doubling times.
Since then, researchers continued to follow the participants, 15 of whom stuck with the study for as long as 64 months. They found that the PSA doubling times of the men who kept drinking pomegranate juice were about four times longer than the PSA doubling times at the study’s start — and longer than the PSA doubling times of the men who stopped drinking the juice.
For those who want to try pomegranate juice, one note of caution: it’s high in calories. An 8-ounce glass of POM Wonderful, the juice used in the study, contains 160 calories, 50 calories more than a typical glass of orange juice.
SOURCE: Pantuck AJ, Zomorodian N, Rettig M, et al. Long-term Follow-Up of Phase 2 Study of Pomegranate Juice for Men with Prostate Cancer Shows Durable Prolongation of PSA Doubling Time. Journal of Urology 2009;181(4 Suppl): abstract 826.
Originally published July 1, 2009; Last reviewed April 11, 2011