(NaturalNews) Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols, tannins, and anthocyanins. The health benefits of pomegranate juice have been compared to that of red wine, purple grape juice, and black tea. The only potential downside of fresh pomegranate juice is that it is very high in natural sugar. One cup of pomegranate juice has nearly 30 grams of sugar.
Pomegranate juice reduces atherosclerosis
In 2005, scientists at the Preventative Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, CA wanted to discover if pomegranate juice would help reduce atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart disease. In this study, patients with coronary heart disease either drank 240 mL (one cup) pomegranate juice or a similar- tasting placebo every day for three months. EKGs and visual images were administered at the beginning and end of the study for comparisons.
At the end of the three months, ischemia, the restriction of blood flow due to blockage, decreased in the pomegranate juice group. However, in the placebo juice group, ischemia actually increased. No other changes occurred in this carefully controlled study.
Pomegranate juice reduces high blood pressure
In 2009, a team of scientists published a review of all available research on the benefits of pomegranate juice in the medical journal Nutrition Review. Pomegranate juice was documented to not only improve blood flow in the cardiovascular system of heart patients, but helped to reduce high blood pressure and inflammation as well. The juice was able to reduce lesions in the blood vessels of mice with atherosclerosis and the thickness of blood vessels in heart patients who were on prescription medications.
The study noted that Type II diabetics who drank pomegranate juice saw a decrease in their blood lipid (fat cell) levels. These scientists determined that pomegranate juice protects the cardiovascular system so well that it should be promoted as a standard part of a heart-healthy diet.
Pomegranate juice helps prevent future heart disease
Promising studies such as the above prompted the faculty of the zoology department at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara in India to determine if pomegranate juice could protect rats that later developed heart disease. In 2010, these scientists fed pomegranate juice to a group of healthy rats for 30 days, while keeping a control group of rats for comparison. On days 28 and 29, both groups of rats were treated with a solution which induced heart disease. The group of rats which had been fed pomegranate juice was significantly less affected by the solution.
Pubmed.gov, American Journal of Cardiology. 2005 Sep 15;96(6):810-4. "Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary heart disease." Sumner MD and Elliott-Eller M, et al. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16169367
Pubmed.gov, Cardiovascular Toxicology. 2010 Sep;10(3):174-80. "Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) juice supplementation attenuates isoproterenol-induced cardiac necrosis in rats." Jadeja RN and Thounaojam MC, et al. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20509006
About the author: Brad Chase is the President of ProgressiveHealth.com. His website provides articles and natural remedies to help people solve their health concerns.