Eating pomegranates could reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a new research.

Scientists behind the research say that the fruit contains naturally occurring chemical, known as a phytochemical, called Ellagic acid, which prevents cancer cells from developing.

Three-quarters of breast cancers are thought to be hormone dependent - fuelled by the hormone oestrogen.

The researchers say that pomegranates reduce the likelihood of getting hormone-dependent breast cancer.

“Phytochemicals suppress oestrogen production that prevents the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the growth of oestrogen-responsive tumours,” the Scotsman quoted principal investigator Shiuan Chen, director of the Division of Tumuor Cell Biology and co-leader of the Breast Cancer Research Programme at City of Hope in Duarte, California, as saying.

According to Professor Gary Stoner from the Department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University, the results are promising enough to warrant more experiments with pomegranate in animals and humans.

Until then, Stoner said people “might consider consuming more pomegranates to protect against cancer development in the breast and perhaps in other tissues and organs”.

However, he warned that the study was conducted in a laboratory and the results may not be the same in humans.

The study was published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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