Is it true that pomegranate juice may slow the growth of prostate cancer?
Answer From Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Some early research suggested that drinking pomegranate juice slowed the progression of prostate cancer, but additional research failed to confirm those results.
For example, in some studies of men with recurrent prostate cancer and rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, researchers found that drinking pomegranate juice or taking pomegranate juice extract significantly slowed the rate at which PSA was rising (PSA doubling time). A longer PSA doubling time can indicate that the cancer may be progressing less rapidly.
But these studies didn't use a control group or a placebo group. Later studies using a placebo-controlled design found no clear benefit for pomegranate juice extract.
If you choose to drink pomegranate juice, talk with your doctor first. Although pomegranate juice is generally safe, there is evidence that it may affect how your body processes certain prescription medications. Those medications include blood thinners and drugs used to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
June 24, 2021
- Pomegranate. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed May 13, 2021.
- Paller CJ, et al. A review of pomegranate in prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 2017; doi:10.1038/pcan.2017.19.
- Paller CJ, et al. A randomized phase II study of pomegranate extract for men with rising PSA following initial therapy for localized prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 2013; doi:10.1038/pcan.2012.20.
- Stenner-Liewen F, et al. Daily pomegranate intake has no impact on PSA levels in patients with advanced prostate cancer — Results of a phase IIb randomized controlled trial. 2013; doi:10.7150/jca.7123.
- Pantuck AJ, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effects of pomegranate extract on rising PSA level in men following primary therapy for prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Disease. 2015; doi:10.1038/pcan.2015.32.
- Jarrard D, et al. A phase II randomized placebo-controlled trial of pomegranate fruit extract in men with localized prostate cancer undergoing active surveillance. The Prostate. 2021; doi:10.1002/pros.24076.