(VI) (DM) Pomegranate 6 Science-Backed Health Benefits: The Fruit Helps Protect Against Plaque, Hunger and Certain Cancers / The Many Benefits of Pomegranate

Posted by on Jul 4, 2015 in Health, Mr. Truthseeker | No Comments

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Pomegranate 6 Science-Backed Health Benefits: The Fruit Helps Protect Against Plaque, Hunger and Certain Cancers

By Jun 26, 2015

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As far as fruits go, pomegranates seem like more trouble than they’re worth. They have spiny skin, and if not sliced into just so, they make a mess and leave some of the seeds inside, which is the actual fruit part, cut and bruised; the surrounding white membrane is too bitter to eat. Pomegranate juice, too, easily stains hands and fingers. They’re a kind of berry, so it would be easier to spring for some strawberries instead.

The thing is pomegranates are healthy in their own right. Sure, like strawberries, they’re a rich source of vitamin C and , not to mention fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, but more than that, studies show eating the fruit and/or drinking pomegranate juice can help protect against disease, like certain cancers and Alzheimer’s.

reported the West is newly aware of pomegranate’s benefits; the fruit is native to Iran and as we mentioned before, were often overlooked due to their meticulous, albeit necessary preparation. Pomegranates can actually be traced back as early as 3000 B.C., with the fruit being buried alongside ancient Egyptians, like King Tut, “in hopes of a second life.” Some scholars go as far as to suggest it was a pomegranate, not apple that tempted Eve.

Stories aside, the science is clear: This fruit is worth the quick YouTube search for tutorials on how to cut into it already. Here’s a bigger picture of what you might get if you do:

More Potassium

Those aforementioned antioxidants protect against dialysis-related infections, or kidney diseases, as well as cardiovascular complications (think of high blood pressure). A presented during the 2010 annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology found the potassium content in pomegranate juice reduces many of the dialysis-related complications for kidney patients, otherwise showing a reduced morbidity rate.

Curb Your Hunger

cited the seeds’ vitamin C accounts for nearly 40 percent of the daily recommended amount, while they work to lower blood pressure and satiate hunger due to high levels of fiber. If you don’t want to just spoon-feed yourself some pomegranate seeds, consider topping your oatmeal, quinoa, or yogurt with them, Shape suggested; pomegranates also compliment chicken and turkey dishes.

Plaque Protection

Some more good news for pomegranate juice drinkers: It protects against dental plaque microorganisms. published in the Ancient Science of Life found drinking the juice reduces plaque-forming units by 32 percent. The juice’s antioxidants, called polyphenols, are a primary driver behind its believed antibacterial activity.

And Cancer Protection

A from the University of California, Riverside found components of pomegranate juice may stop prostate cancer cells from moving, while also weakening the chemical signals that promote this kind of cancer to spread in the first place. And in a separate study, Israeli researchers found pomegranate juice may prevent and destroy breast cancer cells (though it’s hardly the only ).

Stable PSA Levels

Prostate cancer patients may also experience lowered levels of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) when they drink 8 ounces of pomegranate juice each day, found study from the University of California, Los Angeles. The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland, and while there aren’t normal or abnormal PSA levels, studies show men with levels below 4.0 have prostate cancer, whereas men with high levels don’t.

Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

A specific polyphenol called is believed to be the source of pomegranate’s anti-inflammatory properties. An animal study showed mice fed pomegranate juice experienced lower levels of amyloid plaque, the plaque that accumulates between the brain’s nerve cells, the hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s, and improved their performance for certain mental tasks.

Some Kind of Wonderful

If you do skip the fruit and go right for the juice, be mindful of the brand. Last summer, Minute Maid’s pomegranate and blueberry juice was to consist mostly of harvested apple and grape juices. But POM Wonderful is, in fact, 100 percent pomegranate juice; it is “superior” to other juices, UCLA researchers said. Their research showed it packs more antioxidants than grape, blueberry, and orange juices. It even edges ahead of green teas and wine. Bottoms up.

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The Many Benefits of Pomegranate

By June 25, 2015

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The pomegranate or Punica granatum originates from Persia. It was cultivated over the whole Mediterranean region since ancient times and became naturalized. It is extensively cultivated throughout India and the dry regions of southeast Asia, Malaya, the East Indies and tropical Africa.

Many of the plant’s components are used medicinally. For instance, pomegranate juice is rich in anthocyanins; the seed oil is rich in punicic acid; the peel or rind has phenolic punicaligans and gallic acid, the leaves have tannins, the flower has gallic acid, the roots and bark have ellagitannins.

Pomegranate extract is popularly standardized to 40% ellagic acid but synergistic effects of all pomegranate constituents are more powerful. According to Lansky “The pomegranate needs no such tricks or enhancements. It is rather an extraordinary…fruit with a complete medicinal power contained within its juice, peel, and seeds,” (Lansky).

You may or may not know this but the pomegranate’s benefits are profound. It can help almost every bodily system (cardiovascular, endocrine, nerve, skeletal and blood system) as well as benefit oral health. One of the first steps in building arterial plaque is damage of macrophages. Pomegranate’s flavonoids can prevent this damage (Aviram et al). “Pomegranate polyphenols were shown to reduce the capacity of macrophages to oxidatively modify LDL, due to their interaction with LDL to inhibit its oxidation by scavenging reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species and also due to accumulation of polyphenols in arterial macrophages; hence, the inhibition of macrophage lipid peroxidation and the formation of lipid peroxide-rich macrophages,” (Aviram et al.) Studies used extract from whole fruit minus the juice and found a 195 decrease in oxidative stress in mouse peritoneal macrophages and a 42% decrease in cellular lipid peroxide content (Jurenka).

A powerful anti-inflammatory, pomegranate was found to increase plasma anitoxidant capacity from 1.33mmol to 1.46 mmol when subjects consumed 250ml pomegranate pulp juice every day for 4 weeks. Subjects also exhibited a dramatic decrease in plasma carbonyl content. Plasma carbonyl is a biomarker for oxidant/antioxidant barrier impairment in many inflammatory diseases.

Pomegranate is also known to help lower blood pressure. It does this by lowering angiotensin converting enzyme activity. In a study where subjects drank 50 ml or 1.5mmol of total polyphenols every day for 2 weeks, researchers found a 36% decrease in serum ACE activity and a 5% reduction in systolic blood pressure (Aviram, Dornfeld). In another study, they found a statistically significant increase in urinary free cortisone and a decrease in free cortisol/cortisone ratio after one week of pomegranate juice consumption (Tsang et al). This also helps lower blood pressure.

It is found other constituents of pomegranate are better at suppressing prostate cancer than ellagic acid alone. In animal studies, apoptosis of prostate cancer cell lines is observed in vivo (Jurenka). In in vivo human studies, they found a decrease in PSA and in vitro they found a decrease in cancer germ line cell proliferation as well as apoptosis.

And because of its chondroprotective effects in mice, pomegranate can theoretically help with osteoarthritis in humans (Mahsa, Reza). In another study where they aimed to measure whether pomegranate and carvacrol (a phenol found in oregano and other herbs) could alleviate oxidative stress on the sciatic nerve, they found the combination decreased the pro-inflammatory response (Celik et al).

In yet another study they found pomegranate’s ability to protect teeth from degeneration. Hydro-alcoholic extract (HAE) from pomegranate decreased the CFU/ml by 84% (Silvna el al). It can also help gingival health by reducing the risk of gingivitis (DiSilvestro et al).

References:

Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Kaplan M, Coleman R, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hofman A, Rosenblat M, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Hayek T, Fuhrman B. Pomegranate juice flavonoids inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation and cardiovascular diseases: studies in atherosclerotic mice and in humans. Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research [2002, 28(2-3):49-62]

Michael Aviram, Leslie Dornfeld. Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis. September 2001 Volume 158, Issue 1, Pages 195–198

Mahsa Hadipour-Jahromy, Reza Mozaffari-Kermani. Chondroprotective effects of pomegranate juice on monoiodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis of the knee joint of mice. Phytotherapy Research. Volume 24, Issue 2, pages 182–185, February 2010

Celik, C. Gocmez, M. Bozkurt, I. Kaplan, K. Kamasak, E. Akil, E. Dogan, A. Guzel, E. Uzar. Neuroprotective effects of carvacrol and pomegranate against methotrexate-induced toxicity in rats. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2013; 17:2998-299

Silvana M. S. Menezes, Luciana Nunes Cordeiro, and Glauce S. B. Viana. Punica granatum (Pomegranate) Extract Is Active Against Dental Plaque. Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy. 2006, Vol. 6, No. 2 , Pages 79-92

Robert A. DiSilvestro, Daniel J. DiSilvestro, and David J. DiSilvestro. Pomegranate extract mouth rinsing effects on saliva measures relevant to gingivitis risk. Phytotherapy Research. Volume 23, Issue 8, pages 1123–1127, August 2009