I’m excited to share another Danny Parker column about myeloma and nutrition with you today! This report focuses on an important and proven anti-cancer agent–ellgaic acid–which is found in raspberries and pomegranates:
Bring on the Raspberries and Pomegranate
Okay friends. After the general downer of telling you about acrylamide last week, I have some good news to balance that “bad news” outing.
Raspberries are likely good for you and pomegranate too– particularly if you have cancer.
The reason is Ellgaic acid. This is a phenolic compound with potent anti-carcinogen properties. It has demonstrated ability to induce apoptosis of leukemia cells as well as a variety of other cancers.
How does it work? Here is the technical explanation, which you’re free to ignore. In fact there are a lot of links below. Still, I want you to have the background I’m considering.
Ellgaic acid, also inhibits the NF-kappa-B inflammatory pathway that is so important in myeloma, but other cancers as well. There is also evidence that such polyphenolic compounds may work together to result in greater effectiveness.
Pomegranate may be particularly active:
“Recent research has shown that pomegranate extracts selectively inhibit the growth of breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer cells in culture. In preclinical animal studies, oral consumption of pomegranate extract inhibited growth of lung, skin, colon and prostate tumors.”
And breast cancer:
Ellgaic acid is found in pomegranate and pomegranate juice, walnuts and pecans, but in a most concentrated fashion in raspberries.
Ellagic acid content in select foods Food Source mcg/g (dry wt) Red Raspberries 1500 Blackberries 1500 Strawberries 630 Walnuts 590 Pecans 330 Cranberries 120
Also, pomegranate and pomegranate juice may inhibit several mechanisms associated with myeloma progression (NF-Kappa-B as well as IL-1Beta, IL-6 and IL-8).
Rather than using supplements, the American Cancer Society recommends eating these foods as part of a healthy diet: “Eating berries or other natural sources of ellagic acid is generally considered safe. These foods should be part of a balanced diet that includes several servings of fruits and vegetables each day.”
While raspberries and pomegranate don’t substitute for chemotherapy, eating them a little more often might actually help us a little. My advice: If you like raspberries and pomegranate juice, find a way to enjoy them in your weekly food selection.
Thanks, Danny! Next week Danny will be providing an overview/summary about how making a few small, incremental changes in your daily eating habits could have a positive affect on our cancer.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat