Pomegranate juice has long been in the folklore of prostate cancer survivors. Many of us use it with the goal of controlling our PSA. Most of the research evaluating the ability of pomegranate juice to control PSA has been funded by the juice manufacturers and must be looked at with skepticism.

Dr. Radha Munagala and associates decided to evaluate the role pomegranate juice could play in the control of prostate cancer and to see what were the bio-active ingredients in pomegranate juice that controlled prostate cancer.

In order to identify these bioactive components of pomegranate, the peel (P) and arils (J) were isolated, juiced separately and extracted with 80% methanol (PE and JE). They then enriched the components by using a SPE C18 cartridge and, eluted as fraction I (P-I and J-I – contains mostly polar compounds) and fraction II (P-II and J-II – contains mostly non-polar compounds).

Analysis revealed the J-I consisted of mostly phenolics including the three anthocyanins in its mono- and di-glycoside forms. P-I consisted mostly of punicalin and, the punicalagins A and B, while P-II and J-II consisted mostly of ellagitannins and free ellagic acid.

They concluded that the components of peel and juice fractions demonstrate unique properties and the ability to modulate distinct pathways in androgen-dependent and independent prostate cancer cells providing a rich set of potential therapy or adjuvant applications.

Take Home Message – When provided as a whole juice pomegranate modulates specific pathways in prostate cancer cells that are not reflected when its major constituents were tested independently!

Abstract #2586, Radha Munagala, Farrukh Aqil, Ramesh C. Gupta, Richard M. Higashi, Manicka V. Vadhanam. Univ. of Louisville Brown Cancer Center, Louisville, KY