by : Howard G. Smith, M.D.
Just how wonder is POM Wonderful? Well, it turns out pomegranate can have some very beneficial health effects, including lowering the blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at the evidence:
The evidence comes from a meta-analysis of eight randomized placebo controlled studies — and those are the gold standard in terms of investigational clinical research. All of this was published in the journal Pharmacological Research.
The researchers took a look at the average systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels in those who were either drinking pomegranate juice or not drinking it. The systolic blood pressure levels are the higher number — the one around 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg)— and the lower number is the diastolic number (80mmHg on average).
What they found was drinking pomegranate juice reduced systolic blood pressure by nearly 5mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure by 2 mmHg. It’s a lot harder to bring that diastolic blood pressure down.
Now, interestingly enough, systolic blood pressure — the easier one to reduce with dietary changes of all sorts, including salt reduction — occurred in both drinkers who were drinking the pomegranate juice for a shorter period of time (less than 12 weeks) and those drinking for more than 12 weeks, as well as those drinking either fewer or more than three glasses a day.
In order to get the diastolic blood pressure down though, you actually had to drink more than 3 glasses a day, and for a sustained period of time.
Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, which can reverse atherosclerosis as well as vascular inflammation, and thereby lower blood pressure. But it has other anti-inflammatory effects, and most of the effects can occur quickly, after drinking as little as 5 ounces a day for only two weeks. That’s pretty fast!
The anti-inflammatory properties can also inhibit the growth of cancer cells, including breast and prostate, and also control the inflammation associated with arthritis. The juice also controls the inflammation around the dental gingival border, which reduces gingivitis and periodontitis, in part because pomegranate juice also has an anti-bacterial capability as well.
Last but not least, pomegranate juice also seems to help verbal and visual memory in the elderly, who are drinking as much as eight ounces of juice daily over a period of time.
My two cents’ worth, talking about lowering blood pressure: You can do it with a group of lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet with fruits and veggies, reducing your sodium intake as well as the intake of alcohol and caffeine, quitting smoking, and reducing stress.
So I guess pomegranate juice actually does seem to help. It lowers the blood pressure, reduces inflammatory reactions in joints around your teeth, can help limit cancer cell growth, and can even help your mind.