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Compounds Found In Pomegranates Suppress Hormone-Dependent Breast Cancer

January 5, 2010: 11:51 AM EST
Certain phytochemicals found in fruits such as pomegranates suppress the production of the female hormone estrogen, thereby preventing the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the growth of estrogen-responsive tumors, according to a laboratory study. The enzyme aromatase, which converts androgen to estrogen, plays a key role in breast carcinogenesis. Pomegranates contain anti-aromatase compounds known as ellagitannins that have the potential to prevent estrogen-responsive breast cancers. The researchers cautioned that the high levels of phytochemicals used in the study might not be achievable in humans because ellagitannins “are not well absorbed into blood when provided in the diet.”
Lynn S. Adams, Yanjun Zhang, et al., "Pomegranate Ellagitannin–Derived Compounds Exhibit Antiproliferative and Antiaromatase Activity in Breast Cancer Cells In vitro", Cancer Prevention Research, January 05, 2010, © American Association for Cancer Research
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