Pomegranates are gaining a great deal of attention over the last couple of years. Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and have been known to have more than even green tea or cranberries. Scientists more and more are becoming interested in just not only what health benefits consumption of this fruit holds but its uses in medicine for prevention and treatments.
Pomegranates prevention for infections
Researchers have discovered that the juice of this fruit holds great possibility for the reduction of infections in patients who are going through dialysis for kidney disease. All they need to do is consume a couple cups of the fruits juice just once a week.
At the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, Israel, Dr. Batya Kristal and associates at random had appointed 101 kidney patients to consume either a half cup of pomegranate juice or a placebo for three times a week for the span of one year. When the year had ended the patients who had consumed the pomegranate juice had revealed greatly lowered blood levels of inflammatory molecules and needed fewer trips to the hospital as opposed to the placebo group.
Dr. Kristal states considerable decreases in hospitalizations due to infections, these decreases showed more than 40% decrease in round one of hospitalizations and 80% decrease in the second. Pomegranate juice within the last couple of years has been proven to contain the highest amounts of polyphenols.
This effective benefit made sense due to the fact of kidney patients on dialysis are hit heavily with free radicals which is caused by the dialysis machines through where their blood flows. Without additional antioxidant protection, the kidney patients would be greatly at risk for infection and disease which commonly occurs in these patients. When these patients add pomegranate juice to their diet, they are giving their bodies a natural provision of a standard mega dose of free radical scavengers which guard the body from oxidative damage and disease.
Dr. Frank Brosius, head of the nephrology division at the University of Michigan Health System, states the study is intriguing and does not know of anything else that could have such a extreme effect. However, this study needs to be duplicated in other centers.
According to the evidence of this study it reflected that among 50 patients consuming the juice for one year only two of them would need hospitalization at least twice. In comparison equaling eleven patients not consuming the juice.
Researchers are warning kidney patients about the juice which contains high amount of potassium. Due to the fragile balance of nutrients in their blood, if they wish to try the juice to talk to their health practitioner first.
Pomegranate extract combats inflammation
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, are credited to be the first researchers to prove that pomegranate extract has the ability to directly fight inflammation. In a study conducted in 2005, had demonstrated that when injected into human cells, the pomegranate extract had decreased levels of inflammation and enzymes that cause the cartilage to break down in arthritis.
Researchers than had affirmed with another study which was published in Journal of Inflammation. In that study they had fed 175 millimeters of pomegranate extract to four rabbits. Then used two other rabbits fed only water for comparison. All the rabbits used were enduring chronic inflammation.
Researchers discovered the levels of antioxidant markers had greatly increased and the marker levels of inflammation had majorly decreased in the rabbits who had the pomegranate extract.
In comparison to the rabbits with only water, the rabbits who had the pomegranate had a seven to twenty-six percent lower levels of inflammation markers of COX 1 and 2. The levels of inflammatory compounds produced by cartilage cells had also been decreased.
Researchers had written in their study that pomegranate fruit extract could be valuable by stopping inflammatory stimuli induced cartilage breakdown along with inflammatory mediators in arthritis.
This study was of value due to the fact it had demonstrated that consumption of pomegranate extract can decrease inflammation without having to be injected.
These same researchers just a little while ago had teamed up with researchers from the University of South Carolina to conduct the first study ever on human cells to see if the same effect would occur. This study had also been published in the Journal of Inflammation.
No studies had ever been conducted on pomegranate extract stopping inflammatory activity in human cells. The goal for the study was to observe whether POMx restrains inflammatory reactions by using human basophilic cell line KU812.
First researchers stimulated the cells with the chemical PMACI in order to obtain an inflammatory reaction. They the cells were dosed with pomegranate extract.
Researchers discovered after the cells had been dosed, they started to produce greatly decreased levels of inflammation associated cytokines IL 6 and IL 8.
Researchers had indicated that POMx compounds could be of value to treat inflammatory diseases in which cell masts have an active role.
Pomegranate extract seems to stop activation of a gene complex called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB).
NF-Kb has a part in controlling healthy immune reactions.
Pomegranate benefits prostate cancer and heart
In 2007, Harvard Men’s Health Watch, April issue had printed two studies on pomegranate juice aiding in prostate cancer.
In one study profiled scientists had grown cells from highly destructive cases of prostate cancer in tissue cultures. The use of pomegranate juice extract on the cells had slowed the growth and advanced cell death.
Researchers then had implanted the cancer cells in mice. A group of mice had received water which contained pomegranate juice. The mice had developed remarkable smaller tumors than in comparison to untreated mice.
In a initial study in men with prostate cancer, the pomegranate juice had lengthened the patients PSA doubling time (the longer doubling time the slower the growth rate) for fifteen months prior to treatment and up to fifty-four months with taking the pomegranate juice.
The initial findings in test tubes, animals and humans advocate that pomegranate juice could also provide benefits for the cardiovascular system.
Studies have demonstrated that pomegranate juice guards bad cholesterol from oxidative harm. The juice also has the capability to slow down the progression of plaques in mice with atherosclerosis.
Two smaller studies had amazing results in which had shown carotid artery thickness had decreased and cardiac blood flow had improved in people who consumed pomegranate juice. However, researchers do note that the pomegranate juice may interfere with certain medications similar to grapefruit juice.
Researchers from Israel studied the effects of pomegranate juice in patients with diabetes. They discovered that patients who had consumed 50 millimeters of the juice for a period of three months had shown a decreased uptake of oxidized bad cholesterol (LDL) by the body along with decreased levels of other heart disease symptoms. Also, it seems that the sugar levels in the juice did not make the blood sugar levels in the patients any worse.
Conclusions of the researchers indicate that pomegranate juice possibly can stop the development of atherosclerosis in persons with diabetes.
Initial research in 2004, had shown that consuming concentrated pomegranate juice possibly does reduce cholesterol. It had went further to advocate that drinking one glass of the juice each day for a period of one year can decrease blood pressure and at the same time slow down bad cholesterol oxidation.
Pomegranate juice prevents Alzheimer’s disease
Dr. Richard Hartman, head researcher and author of a study which appeared in Seventh-day Adventist-owned Loma Linda University and in association with researchers from Washington University, state that a glass of pomegranate juice could possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The study had shown that pomegranates in comparison to other fruits and vegetables have immensely higher levels of polyphenols. Researchers state that polyphenols are just one of a great number of antioxidants that are known to counteract the dangerous effects of free radicals. When free radicals attack human cells it causes them to change into cancer cells. These free radicals have also been known to be associated to causing arthritis, diabetes, atherosclerosis, early aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
Over the years pomegranate have been acknowledge to slow down certain forms of cancer and clearing arteries. The study which was conducted indicated they are just as good for brain health as heart health.
Researchers conducted the study at Loma Linda University. The researchers had used mice with genetic predisposition to develop Alzheimer’s type diseases. The mice were divided into two groups. Group A had drank water with pomegranate juice concentrate added and group B drank water with sugar added in to equal out the natural sweetness of pomegranate juice.
After a term of six months, Group A which had the pomegranate juice learned at a faster rate and swam quicker during underwater maze tests of their learning and memory abilities than in comparison to group B, the mice with water and sugar. Also, group A had 50% less plaque.
Dr. Hartman, states that brain plaques are toxic lumps of protein that accumulates in the brain. The accumulations harm and disrupt the communication between brain cells. Brain cells that have been endangered cause memory loss and a decrease in cognitive skills. Both of these are signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
In the study each mouse had drank five millimeters of pomegranate juice each day. For similar benefits it is suggest that humans should drink one to two glass a day.
Dr. Hartman states that there is no proof that it is all or nothing situation. Based on that fact consuming even one glass every so often possibly is beneficial.
Pomegranate juice does cost a little more than orange juice. Dr. Hartman states it is worth the expense. Medications to treat disease such as Alzheimer’s, heart and cancer are becoming expensive. So it could be worth the expense of the juice. Dr. Hartman also notes that generic organic pomegranate juice is also available and is around normal price range.
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