Pomegranate: superfood or fad?

Pomegranate: superfood or fad?
Pomegranate: superfood or fad?

Pomegranate and its distinctive ruby-red jewel-like seeds have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

The Middle Eastern fruit is claimed to be effective against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer.

Pomegranate is a good source of fibre. It also contains vitamins A, C and E, iron and other antioxidants (notably tannins).

We’ve teamed up with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) to examine whether the health claims made about the fruit are supported by the evidence.

The evidence on pomegranates

Can pomegranate strengthen bones?

2013 study found evidence that pomegranate strengthened bones and helped prevent osteoporosis. The catch was the study involved mice, not humans.

While the biology of mice and humans are surprisingly similar, we can never be sure that these results will be applicable to us.

Does pomegranate juice slow prostate cancer progress?

One small study from 2006 found that drinking a daily 227ml (8oz) glass of pomegranate juice significantly slowed the progress of prostate cancer in men with recurring prostate cancer. This was a well-conducted study, but more are needed to support these findings.

more recent study from 2013 looked at whether giving men pomegranate extract tablets prior to surgery to remove cancerous tissue from the prostate would reduce the amount of tissue that needed to be removed. The results were not statistically significant, meaning they could have been down to chance.

Can pomegranate reduce carotid artery stenosis?

A good-quality study from 2004 on patients with carotid artery stenosis (narrowed arteries) found that a daily 50ml (1.7oz) glass of pomegranate juice over three years reduced the damage caused by cholesterol in the artery by almost half, and also cut cholesterol build-up. However, these effects are not clearly understood and the study did not say what the results mean for conditions such as stroke.

Is heart disease prevented by pomegranates?

A well-conducted trial from 2005 on 45 patients with coronary heart disease demonstrated that a daily 238ml (8.4oz) glass of pomegranate juice administered over three months resulted in improved blood flow to the heart and a lower risk of heart attack. The study did not say what the results mean for conditions such as heart attacks, and with such a small trial the positive results reported could be down to chance.

The dietitian’s verdict on pomegranates

Alison Hornby, a dietitian and BDA spokesperson, says the evidence around the health benefits of pomegranates are inconclusive.

She says: “Research suggests there may be a benefit, but we’ve not shown it yet. The studies that have found an improvement in existing health conditions were very small and more investigation into the role pomegranate plays in these improvements is needed.

“A 150ml glass of pomegranate juice counts as one of your 5 A Day. Make sure to avoid brands with added sugar. You could also add pomegranate seeds to cold dishes and salads. It’s a healthy and appetising way to increase the nutritional value of your meal.”

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2015- like and share to show your support for the 1 in 8 men who will get prostate cancer!

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2015
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2015

March in the UK is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2015. Please like and share the graphic we made to show your support and help us raise awareness of the condition.

Just for your information this is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2015 in the UK. The USA marks the event in September of each year.

So just a plea to advocacy groups around the globe (for any medical condition) find out about this internet thingy and do things in a globally co-ordinated fashion!

Service Dogs and Screening for Breast Cancer. This is amazing.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day
Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day
As many of you know today is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. You can read our most here about ten things you need to know about Metastatic Breast Cancer.

And as many of you may also know we have been covering the whole issue of service dogs as part of therapy during the process of deciding to get a dog for our autistic son.

So you can imagine my fascination and delight when I read a blog post yesterday in the UK’s Daily Telegraph by Judith Potts called “Medical detection dogs have the go-ahead for the first European Breast Cancer Detection Trial”.

Ms Potts shares “One small charity has just received the go-ahead from the Ethics Committee of the Bucks NHS Trust to conduct the first European “Breast Cancer Detection Trial, using the olfactory powers of dogs.” The Medical Detection Dogs charity was founded in 2007 and, since then, has been training dogs in the UK – and advising clinics in other parts of Europe, Australia and the USA – to detect prostate, renal and bladder cancer, using urine samples. The success rate is staggering – with prostate cancer, the results achieved show a “93 per cent reliability, compared to the 75 per cent of false positives found by the traditional PSA tests”.”

This method of diagnosis may provide significant benefits of such techniques as the mammogram for Metastatic Breast Cancer.

So we strongly recommend Ms Potts’ blog post for more information.

We will certainly following the story closely her at PatientTalk.Org.

Urology Awareness Week – please help us raise awareness of urological cancers: kidney, prostate and bladder cancers!

Urology Week is an initiative of the European Association of Urology, which brings together national urological societies, urology practitioners, urology nurses and patient groups to create awareness of urological conditions among the general public.

The efforts of the 2014 campaign focus on creating awareness on the three most common urological cancers: kidneyprostate and bladder cancer. A cancer diagnosis has profound effects on patients’ lives and the lives of their loved ones. Work and social life are disrupted, and work, financial and even legal issues become pressing. It is important to create awareness about the different possibilities for treatment and the support available for patients.

You can find more details of events near you here.

The European Association of Urology have produce a poster which would be great if you could like and share.

Urology Week 2014
Urology Week 2014

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – 16 million men worldwide have prostate cancer

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2014
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2014
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

As you can see we have produced the graphic above which we would love if you can like and share to highlight the fact that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men.

Together we can find a cure and awareness is the key!