Pomegranate Seed Oil Hernando MS

To mimic the effects of excessive sun, researchers doused 60 mice with a chemical called TPA. After the mice developed cancer—the less dangerous basal and squamous cell types as well as melanoma —the researchers slathered half of them with pomegranate seed oil twice a week for 20 weeks.

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A Fruitful Approach to Skin Cancer

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There’s good, potentially fragrant, news for the more than 1 million people who’ve had skin cancer and don’t want to see it return. According to a recent study in the Journal of Medicinal Food, extracts from the seeds of pomegranates may protect skin from damage caused by the sun.

To mimic the effects of excessive sun, researchers doused 60 mice with a chemical called TPA. After the mice developed cancer—the less dangerous basal and squamous cell types as well as melanoma —the researchers slathered half of them with pomegranate seed oil twice a week for 20 weeks. At the end of the study, the pomegranate-treated mice were 7 percent less likely to get cancer than the untreated mice. And the treated mice that did get cancer had 25 percent fewer tumors than the control group.

“In India, people think the pomegranate is God’s given fruit,” says lead researcher Chandrahar Dwivedi, a pharmacologist at South Dakota State University in Brookings. Certain cancer-fighting antioxidants, called polyphenols, may account for its powers, he says.

Pomegranate seed oil is available at health food stores, but it’s quite sticky. Until someone comes up with a more user-friendly alternative, there’s no harm in simply eating more pomegranates. “I’ve been eating them since

I was a child,” says Dwivedi, “and so far, I don’t have skin cancer.”

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