Adding pomegranates and nuts turns a simple salad of mixed greens into a dinnertime treat. Add a few crumbles of goat cheese and toss with a light vinaigrette dressing to keep down the calories. That’s all. Low cal, low fat, and full of cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

A study in Cancer Prevention Research, shows that pomegranates are especially good for estrogen-positive cancers, but even though they may not help those of us who have had cancers not responsive to estrogen (ER-negative, PR-negative, or TNBC), I am enjoying this treat anyway. I choose to avoid all types of cancer.

For more information on the pomegranate study, check out the news release from the American Association for Cancer Research:

Eating fruit, such as pomegranates, that contain anti-aromatase phytochemicals reduces the incidence of hormone-dependent breast cancer, according to results of a study published in the January issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Pomegranate is enriched in a series of compounds known as ellagitannins that, as shown in this study, appear to be responsible for the anti-proliferative effect of the pomegranate.

“Phytochemicals suppress estrogen production that prevents the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the growth of estrogen-responsive tumors,” said principal investigator Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., director of the Division of Tumor Cell Biology and co-leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif.

Previous research has shown that pomegranate juice — punica granatum L — is high in antioxidant activity, which is generally attributed to the fruit’s high polyphenol content. Ellagic acid found in pomegranates inhibits aromatase, an enzyme that converts androgen to estrogen. Aromatase plays a key role in breast carcinogenesis; therefore, the growth of breast cancer is inhibited.

Chen, along with Lynn Adams, Ph.D., a research fellow at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, and colleagues, evaluated whether phytochemicals in pomegranates can suppress aromatase and ultimately inhibit cancer growth.

After screening and examining a panel of 10 ellagitannin-derived compounds in pomegranates, the investigators found that those compounds have the potential to prevent estrogen-responsive breast cancers. Urolithin B, which is a metabolite produced from ellagic acid and related compounds, significantly inhibited cell growth. Read the entire release.

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