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Pomegranate Extracts Found to Inhibit Inflammation

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: pomegranate, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Pomegranate extract may inhibit the chronic inflammation linked with a variety of health problems such as heart disease and arthritis, according to a study conducted by researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and published in the Journal of Inflammation.

"Consumption of pomegranate fruit extract may be of value in inhibiting inflammatory stimuli-induced cartilage breakdown and production of inflammatory mediators in arthritis," the researchers wrote.

Pomegranate is known to be high in antioxidants, including punicalagins and punicalins, and antioxidants are known to help reduce inflammation in the body.

While short-term inflammation is often a normal and healthy immune response, chronic inflammation is associated with a variety of health problems including arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes and dementia. It is also associated with a variety of effects of aging, such as cognitive decline.

Researchers tested the effect of pomegranate on inflammation by feeding a pomegranate extract to four rabbits and then testing their blood for two cyclooxygenase enzymes that function as inflammation markers: COX-1 and COX-2. The levels of these enzymes were then compared to the levels in two rabbits that had only been dosed with water.

The amount of pomegranate extract used in the study was equivalent to 175 milliliters of pomegranate juice.

The researchers found that the activity of both inflammation markers in the rabbits given pomegranate extract was significantly reduced compared to the control rabbits: by 7 percent for COX-1 and 26 percent for COX-2.

Natural methods to reduce inflammation are becoming more popular as increasing concern emerges over the health effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen. While NSAIDs are some of the most frequently prescribed drugs globally, potential side effects include gastrointestinal toxicity, raised blood pressure and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

In contrast, studies have linked pomegranate to a lowered risk of heart disease and prostate cancer, and to a slower progression of arthritis.

Sources for this story include: www.foodnavigator-usa.com.

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