Pomegranate - The fruit of choice for hair
Pomegranate therapeutically addresses multiple mechanisms associated with Androgenetic Alopecia. It contains a large amount of naturally occurring Ellagic acid, which has been shown to be a hair growth stimulant. Other mechanisms that positively impact hair growth are its ability to preserve nitric oxide, giving it a dual use for erectile dysfunction. It also functions as an inflammation prophylaxis, and downregulates MMP-9. Were that not enough, the following study shows effects on Androgen synthesizing genes that bode well for the treatment of pattern hair loss as well as prostate health.
J Nutr Biochem. 2008 May 12.
Pomegranate polyphenols down-regulate expression of androgen-synthesizing genes in human prostate cancer cells overexpressing the androgen receptor.
Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Prostate cancer is dependent on circulating testosterone in its early stages and is treatable with radiation and surgery. However, recurrent prostate tumors advance to an androgen-independent state in which they progress in the absence of circulating testosterone, leading to metastasis and death. During the development of androgen independence, prostate cancer cells are known to increase intracellular testosterone synthesis, which maintains cancer cell growth in the absence of significant amounts of circulating testosterone. Overexpression of the androgen receptor (AR) occurs in androgen-independent prostate cancer and has been proposed as another mechanism promoting the development of androgen independence. The LNCaP-AR cell line is engineered to overexpress AR but is otherwise similar to the widely studied LNCaP cell line. We have previously shown that pomegranate extracts inhibit both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cell growth. In this study, we examined the effects of pomegranate polyphenols, ellagitannin-rich extract and whole juice extract on the expression of genes for key androgen-synthesizing enzymes and the AR. We measured expression of the HSD3B2 (3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2), AKR1C3 (aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C3) and SRD5A1 (steroid 5alpha reductase type 1) genes for the respective androgen-synthesizing enzymes in LNCaP, LNCaP-AR and DU-145 human prostate cancer cells. A twofold suppression of gene expression was considered statistically significant. Pomegranate polyphenols inhibited gene expression and AR most consistently in the LNCaP-AR cell line (P=.05). Therefore, inhibition by pomegranate polyphenols of gene expression involved in androgen-synthesizing enzymes and the AR may be of particular importance in androgen-independent prostate cancer cells and the subset of human prostate cancers where AR is up-regulated.
Pomegranate has been well established to clear out arteries to a significant degree, which likely has implications for the prevention of age related, or senescent hair thinning. Prior research suggests that one should have a daily intake of at least 78 mg of punicalagins (the active constituent in pomegranates) for optimal cardiovascular health and 280-375 mg for optimal prostate health, which would also be the androgen synthesis reduction dose recommended for treating androgenetic hair loss.
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