Q: Can pomegranate juice help against arthritis, as I’ve read? What about other benefits?
A: It’s too soon to say. A lab study at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland found that pomegranate fruit extract inhibited the breakdown of human joint cartilage cells in test tubes. But no studies have tested the juice in people with osteoarthritis.
As we’ve reported, there are other reasons to consume pomegranates. Their plump red seeds are rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants. Pomegranates also contain lots of vitamin C and potassium. Research has shown that pomegranate juice can lower blood pressure by 5% in people with hypertension and lessen damage by LDL (“bad”) cholesterol on artery walls. In a recent small study in the American Journal of Cardiology, one cup of juice a day for three months improved blood flow to the heart in people with coronary artery disease.
But watch the calories. The leading brand, POM Wonderful, lists 140 per cup. You may want to dilute it with water because of its tartness, which would also reduce the calories. Processing the fruit into juice destroys the vitamin C, which may or may not be added back. And the juice is expensive.
UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, April 2006
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