Pomegranate juice is widely popular,
and is served both as a standalone drink and combined with a number of sweet stews and recipes, such as the Persian dish ashe anar. Markets in countries such as Turkey carry abundant quantities of fresh pomegranate, while it is primarily served only in juice form in the West. Recent growth in popularity from the fruit is largely related to the growing number of studies which have focused on the numerous health benefits. In particular, studies have linked consumption of pomegranate to improved heart health as a result of the high level of antioxidants found in the fruit. Studies have shown that regular consumption of the fruit can help improve health, including boosting the immune system and helping to improve circulation. On the inside of the pure fruit, you will find sweet arils, which are the seed castings that contain the flavor and nutritional benefits. The pomegranate has a unique taste, which is highly sweet, but also a bit tart due to the naturally occurring tannins contained within. When juiced, the fruit produces a sweet flavor that has made it popular throughout the world. In addition to its use in juice, pomegranate

Pomegranate juice helps to fight prostrate cancer-study


A daily glass of pomegranate juice can hold back prostate cancer and could even prevent men dying of the disease, US scientists have discovered.

Just one 8oz glass of juice per day increased the stability period of prostate cancer four-fold, scientists found.
The effect was so pronounced it may allow older men to avoid dying from the cancer, experts believe.
Simply by drinking pomegranate juice, a man of 65 to 70 with prostate cancer could complete his normal life span without having to undergo harsh medical treatments.
Last year US researchers at the University of Wisconsin showed that pomegranate juice dramatically slows down prostate cancer in mice.
The new three-year pilot study from the University of California at Los Angeles involved 50 prostate cancer patients who had undergone surgery or radiotherapy.
All the men had experienced a post-treatment increase in blood levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen), indicating that cancer was still present in their bodies.
Over a period of three years, scientists measured the men's PSA levels to calculate how fast they were taking to double.
Prostate cancer patients who have short doubling times are more likely to die from their illness.
The average doubling time for the disease is about 15 months. But drinking pomegranate juice extended this period to 54 months - an almost four-fold increase.
"I was surprised when I saw such an improvement in PSA numbers," said Dr Allan Pantuck, who led the study. "In older men 65 to 70 who have been treated for prostate cancer, we can give them pomegranate juice and it may be possible for them to outlive their risk of dying from their cancer.
"We're hoping we may be able to prevent or delay the need for other therapies usually used in this population such as hormone treatment or chemotherapy, both of which bring with them harmful side effects.
"This is not a cure, but we may be able to change the way prostate cancer grows."
The study showed that the speed at which PSA levels rose in the men fell by an average of 35% after they started drinking pomegranate juice.
There was also evidence that pomegranate juice was actually killing prostate cancer cells.
Numbers of cells grown from patients' blood samples decreased by almost 30%, and cell proliferation - the rate at which cells divided - by 12%.
Apoptosis, the process by which defective or cancerous cells are forced to commit suicide, rose by 17%.
Critics might argue that the study lacks independence, since it was funded by the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Trust, which has links with pomegranate products.
POM Wonderful, owned by the Resnicks, provided the juice used in the research.
However the findings were published in a respected peer review journal, Clinical Cancer Research.
A much larger randomised trial headed by the university is now planned at 10 centres in California.
The scientists also want to investigate how pomegranate juice affects prostate cancer.
Pomegranate juice is known to have anti-inflammatory effects and high levels of anti-oxidants, which protect healthy cells from damage by destructive groups of atoms called free radicals.
It also contains polyphenols and isoflavones which are believed to play a role in cancer cell death.
"There are many substances in pomegranate juice that may be prompting this response," said Dr Pantuck. "We don't know if it's one magic bullet or the combination of everything we know is in this juice. My guess is that it's probably a combination of elements, rather than a single component."
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men in the UK and in Australia.
More than 30,000 men in Britain are diagnosed each year and around 10,000 die from the disease.
After surgery or radiotherapy for prostate cancer, PSA levels should be undetectable.
If the PSA levels start rising, it is a sign that cancer is still present and progressing.
Hormonal therapy, which stops testosterone fuelling the cancer, is usually the next stage in treatment. However, it generally ceases to work after between one and three years. Hormone treatment can also produce unwanted side effects including muscle wasting, osteoporosis, loss of libido and impotence.
Chris Hiley, head of policy and research at the Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "This is certainly interesting and attractively simple.
"Time and some more research will show us exactly how important pomegranate juice will turn out to be - and the researchers have already launched a bigger, randomised trial in the US involving five times as many men.
"This, we hope, will confirm the benefit and provide more detail on what men could reasonably expect from drinking pomegranate juice."
Pomegranates have been hailed as a new "super-food" as evidence emerges of their health benefits.
Scientists in Israel have shown that drinking a daily glass of pomegranate juice can reduce the risk of heart and artery disease.
Studies at the Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa found the juice dramatically slowed down the process that causes arteries to thicken and narrow. It also reduced retention of "bad" cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
The fruits, which are also claimed to have anti-ageing properties, are packed full of antioxidants. Research suggests that pomegranate juice has about three times more antioxidant potency than green tea or red wine.
The fruit has long been used in folk medicine in the Middle East and India. Healers have used the bark, leaves, skin and rind as well as the edible fruit to cure a multitude of ills.

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