Pomegranate Power

Pomegranate juice is a rich source of phytochemical compounds shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. It not only lowers cholesterol, but lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away.

Recent medical research completed in 2004 studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice for a year, and not only did their blood pressure lower by over 20 percent, but there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque.1

The data was measured by IMT technology. IMT stands for Intima Media Thickness. It has been shown in medical studies that the thickness of the plaque in a specific place in the neck has an excellent correlation with coronary artery atherosclerotic burden. The control group who did not receive the juice had their arteries close off even further. IMT thickness increased 9 percent.

Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals.2

Pomegranates' potent antioxidant compounds have also been shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes.3 Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.

Pomegranate juice has also been found to contain phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and improving bone mass in lab animals.4

Given the fact that pomegranate juice is so rich in heart protective compounds and there are animal studies to support the beneficial findings in human studies, it makes the results of these recent investigations understandable and believable. Pomegranate is a powerful food for good health.5

Summary Features of Pomegranate

1. Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
2. Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
3. Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
4. Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
5. Lowers blood pressure
6. Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies.
7. May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis

I recommend all my patients who have heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure to incorporate pomegranate juice into their diet and, for the above reasons I have added pomegranate concentrate to my cholesterol lowering formula, LDL Protect.

1. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004;23(3):423-33.

2. Kim ND, Mehta R, Yu W, et al. Chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum) for human breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2002;71(3):203-17. Kohno H, Suzuki R, Yasui Y, et al. Pomegranate seed oil rich in conjugated linolenic acid suppresses chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats.Cancer Sci 2004;95(6):481-6. Toi M, Bando H, Ramachandran C, et al. Preliminary studies on the anti-angiogenic potential of pomegranate fractions in vitro and in vivo. Angiogenesis 2003;6(2):121-8.Kawaii S, Lansky EP. Differentiation-promoting activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit extracts in HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cells. J Med Food 2004;7(1):13-8.

3. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation:studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5):1062-76. Aviram M, Dornfeld L. Pomeganate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin coverting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis 2001;158(1):195-8.

4. Mori-Okamoto J, Otawara-Hamamoto Y, Yamato H, Yoshimura H. Pomegranate extract improves a depressive state and bone properties in menopausal syndrome model ovariectomized mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;92(1):93-101.

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Comments (22) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
janet waronker - December 23, 2005 6:18 PM

HI: I'm a member and I my password is not working. Could someone get back to me and help to correct this error, so I can enjoy the benefits I've paid for.
THANK YOU!

Henry Abbott - December 24, 2005 4:58 PM

Janet-

I have forwarded your concern to the appropriate people in Dr. Fuhrman's office. They should be in touch soon...

All the best,

Henry

jose - January 15, 2006 7:33 PM

Do you think drinking pomegranate herbal tea would give the same benefits as drinking the juice?

dan - January 19, 2006 10:53 AM

how much juice should i drink on a daily basis?

Henry Abbott - January 19, 2006 11:37 AM

Dr. Fuhrman recommended an ounce a day to me, and I believe that is his standard recommendation.

Paul - January 19, 2006 2:32 PM

I'm confused. I thought fruit juice was a no no on ETL? Pommegranate juice is a fruit juice. So what am I missing here?

Joel Fuhrman - March 10, 2006 8:00 PM

I do not think a little fresh squeezed fruit juice is bad, just not a good idea for those who are trying to lose weight. Certainly, even a few ounces of pomegranate or red grapefruit juice is not going to blow your diet. Similar to olive oil, people think because my book, Eat To Live encourages the reader to avoid oil, (because all oil is 120 calories a tablespoon and it can add up fast) that I am dead set against using even a little bit of olive oil occasionally. Apply the principles, but it does not have to be that rigid.

Mary Calvert - April 6, 2006 10:38 PM

Can you take this with Crestor drug that lowers cholesterol?

Christina - June 15, 2006 4:02 PM

Are pomegranates good for anti-ageing? or the skin I eat them everyday all the time I just want to no the benefits of eating it on a daily basis.

Health Conscious - August 5, 2006 8:33 PM

Does it help promote stamina and energy levels?

Olivia - October 5, 2006 10:01 AM

I'm wondering if people, suffering from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, have used pomegranate juice with favorable results on skin and joints.

Mary Murry - October 23, 2006 7:16 AM

I juiced a whole pommegranate (skin seeds etc)and drank with apple juice.It was so sour .I felt so sick afterwards.Did I do something wrong?

Jocelyne Thomas - February 23, 2007 9:50 AM

Is pomegranate juice a good source of nutrition for someone who suffers from Lupus or glaucoma?

Ellen Caputo - October 13, 2007 9:20 AM

I have read that grapefruit juice interferes with blood pressure medication, so one should not drink it while on medication. Is pomegranate juice safe to drink while on such medication?

Sherry - November 15, 2007 5:05 PM

Has pomegranate juice been proven to relieve hot flashes and menopausal symptoms?

Max Levy - August 17, 2008 8:34 AM

Can a diabetic person drink or eat pommegrabate?When you say pommegranate juice do you mean water added or just pressed pommegranate?

lendora nwilkey - October 7, 2009 12:42 AM

does pomegranates ,the skin be rub on your skin help with collagen or tightness?

ann shepherd - August 12, 2010 9:16 AM

is it ok to drink pomegranate juice while taking Simvastatin tablets.

Rusty Brown in Canada - October 25, 2010 10:29 PM

The article says:
"They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice for a year..."

1. I assume this means "an ounce per DAY for a year";

2. Was this really pomegranate juice, or was it pomegranate extract, which is more condensed and therefore much higher in antioxidants etc.? Some studies have used extract, not juice.

Dr M Rafieizadeh - January 10, 2012 5:25 AM

Eating pamegrenate with seeds is beneficial
but pamegrenate juice is not very beneficail.

dp goyal - April 5, 2012 7:41 AM

very nice knowlegebal blog

Annamaria - March 27, 2013 3:54 AM

Rusty, you beat me to it. How on earth do you give an ounce in a year? Sometimes I think the blogosphere is inhabited by illiterates (and that includes this blog: when will they learn that '45 years old' is not a compound adjective and is not hyphenated the way '45-year-old man' would be? They need an editor.)

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