Drinking a daily eight ounce (0.24 litre) glass of pomegranate juice can significantly slow the progress of prostate cancer, a study suggests.
Researchers say the effect may be so large that it may help older men outlive the disease.
Pomegranates contain a cocktail of chemicals which minimise cell damage, and potentially kill off cancer cells.
The study, by the University of California in Los Angeles, appears in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. Previous research had indicated that pomegranate juice could have a beneficial effect on prostate cancer in tests on mice. But the latest study has shown that humans can potentially benefit too.
The UCLA team focused on 50 men who had undergone surgery or radiation treatment for prostate cancer - but had shown signs that the disease was rapidly returning. The presence of prostate cancer cells is monitored by measuring levels of a chemical they produce called prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
The researchers measured how long it took for PSA levels to double in individual patients - a short doubling time indicates that the cancer is progressing quickly.
The average doubling time is about 15 months, but in patients who drank pomegranate juice this increased to an average of 54 months.
Some men on the study continue to show suppressed PSA levels after more than three years, even though they are receiving no treatment apart from drinking pomegranate juice.
Source - BBC