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According to medicalnewstoday.com
New research shows that pomegranate juice may help to reduce blood pressure. The findings will be presented today at the 2011 Society for Endocrinology conference in Birmingham, UK.
Researcher Dr Emad Al-Dujaili from Queen Margaret University looked at how a daily dose of pomegranate juice might affect blood pressure. The study consisted of 20 participants: 10 took a daily dose of 500ml pomegranate juice and 10 took a placebo of 500ml water. Measurements of blood pressure and urinary hormone levels were taken before and after 30 minutes of exercise, both before starting the study and one week after pomegranate juice.
People who drank the pomegranate juice showed significant improvements in blood pressure after one week, whilst those in the placebo group showed no significant difference in any variable. After one week of daily pomegranate juice consumption, systolic blood pressure levels were lowered both before and after exercise (pre-exercise: 141±20.7 to 136.1±17.3mmHg, p=0.03 and post-exercise:156.4±17.5 to 149.5±10.2mmHg, p=0.04) as were diastolic blood pressure levels (90.9 ±11.6 to 87.1±8.7mmHg, p=0.04 and 102.6±23.9 to 94.6±20.4mmHg, p=0.05).
The ratio of cortisol to cortisone in the urine also dropped after a week of pomegranate juice consumption (1.81 ±1.24 to 0.82 ±0.56, p=0.009). Cortisol is an active steroid hormone, produced from cholesterol in the adrenal glands, which affects glucose and fat metabolism and can increase blood pressure by altering salt and water balance in the kidneys and colon. In contrast, cortisone is an inactive metabolite of cortisol which exerts no known physiological actions. The inter-conversion of active cortisol and inert cortisone is mediated within organs such as the liver and kidneys by enzymes called 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases. The decrease in the urinary cortisol to cortisone ratio suggests that compounds present in pomegranate juice may have modified cortisol-cortisone metabolism by these 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzymes.
This is the first time that pomegranate juice has been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure both before and after exercise. However, this was only a small study on healthy volunteers and the findings need to be validated by a larger trial.
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), have identified components in pomegranate juice that seem to inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken their attraction to a chemical signal that has been shown to promote the metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone, according to a presentation today at the American Society for Cell Biology's 50th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
The researchers in the UCR laboratory of Manuela Martins-Green, Ph.D., plan additional testing in an in vivo model for prostate cancer to determine dose-dependent effects and side effects of the two components.
In previous studies, Martins-Green and her research team used a standardized concentration of pomegranate juice on two types of laboratory-cultured prostate cancer cells that were resistant to testosterone.
Resistance to the hormone indicates a potentially strong metastatic potential. The researchers noted not only increased cell death among the pomegranate juice-treated tumor cells but also increased cell adhesion and decreased cell migration in those cancer cells that had not died.
The Martins-Green lab next analyzed the fruit juice to identify the active ingredients that had a molecular impact on cell adhesion and migration in metastatic prostate cancer cells. Martins-Green, graduate student Lei Wang and undergraduate student Jeffrey Ho identified phenylpropanoids, hydrobenzoic acids, flavones and conjugated fatty acids.
"This is particularly exciting because we can now modify these naturally occurring components of the juice to improve their functions and make them more effective in preventing prostate cancer metastasis," said Martins-Green.
"Because the genes and proteins involved in movement of prostate cancer cells are essentially the same as those involved in movement of other types of cancer cells, the same modified components of the juice could have a much broader impact in cancer treatment," she said.
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