In Sacramento you can buy pomegranate juice all year round from most supermarkets. Or you can order pomegranate extract that’s full-spectrum pomegranate. Elliot’s Natural Foods in Sacramento on El Camino Avenue, for example, has bottles of pomegranate juice concentrate. But if you’re looking for benefits that go beyond the juice, try the full-spectrum pomegranate extract that includes the extract of the entire pomegranate, not only the juice.
Pomegranate protects your heart health by augmenting nitric oxide. That’s just one aspect. What happens is that your endothelial cells line the walls of your arteries and need protection. Basically, the process with pomegranate begins with the nitric oxide signaling the smooth muscles inside your vascular system to relax.
Then more blood flow is possible. You have a 2004 study where pomegranate protected against hardening of the arteries by reducing the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol’s “oxidative status” by 90 percent. At the same time pomegranate increased the beneficial paraoxonase-1 (PON1) by 83 percent.
If you want to read the medical/scientific study on this, see the article, Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure, and LDL oxidation,” Clinical Nutrition, 2004,June;23 (3);423-33.
Pomegranate was studied to find its effects on angina and the rate of blood flow through the coronary arteries. First a baseline test induced angina and an advanced diagnostic technique was used to measure coronary blood flow. In the pomegranate group, after three months, the blood flow improved by 18%.
The placebo group worsened by 17% after three months. Basically, the study showed that daily consumption of pomegranate can improve blood flow to the heart in coronary artery disease patients in a short period of time. Interestingly, the test used to measure coronary blood flow was shown to be the best predictor of future heart attack risk. The study was “Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary heart disease,” American Journal of Cardiology, 2005, Sept.15;96(6):810-4
There’s another study comparing statins to pomegranate. But both groups were on statins and did not stop the statins. One group added pomegranate while taking statins. In the statin-only group, hardening of the arteries increased by 9% in a year. In the gorup receive the statins plus pomegranate, showed a 35% reversal in carotid-intima-media thickness. That study was “Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation.” Clinical Nutrition, 2004, June, 23(3)423-33. Also see, Potential drug-food interactions with pomegranate juice.
You can find the list of medical and scientific article studies on the various nutrients cited in Life Extension Magazine, pages 19-23, Sept. 2010 issue. (Next month the previous month’s magazine issue will be posted online). Also see the article, Pomegranates and vascular health.
See Life Extension Magazine, July 2007, “Reversing Atherosclerosis Naturally,” by Dale Kiefer. The article notes, “In the past seven years alone, the amount of published research on pomegranate has increased seven-fold over all preceding years in the medical and scientific literature.”
The primary source for Life Extension Magazine’s article’s conclusion is the medical journal study by Lansky EP, Newman RA. Punica granatum (pomegranate) and its potential for prevention and treatment of inflammation and cancer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2007 Jan 19;109(2):177-206.
Also see the article on SOD and oxidative stress titled, “Oxidative stress and antioxidants: how to assess a risk or a prevention?” Science is looking at fruit juices, nutrients, and even hormones that slow the progression of hardening of the arteries and inflammation of the arteries. But can fruit juice actually reverse existing artery calcification, possibly due to a high LDL level of calcium in the blood instead of the bones? Without drugs, can a whole food reverse atherosclerosis?
If atherosclerosis is caused by aging, it’s not the years that cause it because there are older people who don’t have either arteries hardened by calcium deposits or plaque made of fats. Hardening of the arties actually is caused by endothelial dysfunction.
In one of the studies, scientists used pomegranate juice and a natural SOD (superoxide dismutase) enhancing agent called GliSODin® to reverse carotid artery ultrasound markers of hardening of the arteries better than any commercial prescribed medicine. View the article, Life Extension Magazine, July 2007, “Reversing Atherosclerosis Naturally,” by Dale Kiefe.
How about chocolate-covered pomegranate? See the article, “Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: The NHLBI Family Heart Study.” You might also check out the book, Bioactive Foods in Promoting Health.