Posted 2/28/2013 3:17 PM (GMT -6)
There seems to be both interest and speculation in this thread about pomegranate & pomegranate juices. Here's some summary information:
Pomegranate juice has been characterized as a “super fruit” because of its powerful antioxidant characteristics. It is a food, not a drug (and as such, has proponents and detractors—as you have seen here—based on flavor).
Industry has little motivation to conduct costly studies/trials on foods because there is no potential for patents, exclusive rights, and big profits. You cannot patent a pomegranate. None the less, several lower-level medical studies have been completed which have demonstrated clear benefit for men with progressing prostate cancer.
One of the most notable studies (known informally as the Carducci study, a Phase II clinical study) compared the sample population results of men with progressing PC. The documented result was that 43% of the men using pomegranate had a PSADT which at least doubled . (For reference, increasing PSADT, or PSA doubling time, means that PSA increases slowed down by half or more...that's favorable.) In fact, a small portion of the men (13%) had a PSA which actually reversed. These results were viewed as quite dramatic, and there were no significant down-sides.
The study results led many of the more learned clinicians with international reputations for treating advanced PC to recommend pomegranate to their patients with progressing PC. (As a newcomer, you may not yet be familiar with these names like Myers, Lam, Scholz, Vogelzang; but if you continue to extend your patient education about PC, you will.) In general, these PC experts recommend pomegranate tablets rather than drinking the juice because it completely foregoes the individual “taste” factor, plus the juice is high in sugar which many in our population need to watch carefully or reduce. They do not recommend pomegranate to their PC patients with the intent of “curing cancer,” rather, as one of several strategic steps they recommend to help stack the odds in their favor for the most favorable outcome. Like anything, no two patients’ response to pomegranate will be identical ; and besides, the complex human diet would be extraordinarily difficult to isolate the independent impact of just one food.
The food company POM Wonderful owns a substantial number of the groves in the US that grow pomegranate. They have promoted their product as being healthful for many reasons, including for men with prostate cancer. The Federal Trade Commission challenged a small number of their advertisements for making benefit claims that were too close to being “drug-like” claims. Drugs claims are held to a very high standard of “proof” and require FDA approvals following large, well-designed, well-conducted, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled human clinical trials, or RCTs for short. The drug industry can afford the required RCTs; the food industry cannot come close to affording the multi-million dollar cost of RCTs. POM Wonderful cancelled the small number of advertisements that the FTC objected to.
Many men here who have subjected themselves to very radical treatment modes are seeking advantages within their control to reduce their risks for a worse disease than they would have if they did nothing different. Many, myself included, have read the book by Dr David Servan-Schreiber titled “ Anticancer: A New Way of Life ” (or other books) which promotes the efficacy of antioxidants as cancer-fighters.
Without an RCT, you will never see the FDA claiming “proof” of the benefits of pomegranate. In the mean time, choose for yourself...
Also, men on statins are cautioned against drinking grapefruit (also high in antioxidants) and pomegranate juices.