Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pomegranate Juice's Healthy Properties

New research from Israel was presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Denver, CO. It seems that pomegranate juice may reduce complications in kidney disease patients on dialysis, including the high morbidity rate due to infections and cardiovascular events. While this is a preliminary study, it does suggest that 12 months consumption of pomegranate juice “has a continuous, accumulative, beneficial effect for dialysis patients.”

The researchers found that pomegranate juice consumption yields a lower level of oxidative stress, reduced inflammation, an improvement in lipid profile, and reductions in blood pressure. Wow, all of this from one of the oldest "superfruits" used by humans -- and a truly delicious beverage!

There appear to be many benefits to drinking pomegranate juice. The authors noted that recent studies have claimed it to be a rich source of antioxidants, and that it lowered both cholesterol and blood pressure – especially in diabetic and hypertensive patients. Israeli researchers reported that patients on dialysis, in addition to their renal disease, also suffer from increased risks of diabetes (over 50 percent increased risk), hypertension (over 80 percent risk increase), and cardiovascular disease. They also noted that kidney disease patients are exposed to high levels of oxidative stress.

Among dialysis patients, vitamin E is a well documented to reduce cardiovascular events, and other polyphenols are known to reduce lipid oxidation and oxidative stress. I think that we can now add Pomegranate juice to the recommendations for dialysis patients, as it is known for its strong antioxidant activity. The antioxidant capacity of pomegranate juice is due to its high concentration of anthocyanins and hydrolysable tannins, including both allegic, and gallagic acids, and the poniculagenim – which originate from the pomegranate and contribute up to 50 percent of its antioxidant activity.


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