zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Does Pomegranate Juice Increase Nitric Oxide Levels?

by
author image Bonnie Singleton
Bonnie Singleton has been writing professionally since 1996. She has written for various newspapers and magazines including "The Washington Times" and "Woman's World." She also wrote for the BBC-TV news magazine "From Washington" and worked for Discovery Channel online for more than a decade. Singleton holds a master's degree in musicology from Florida State University and is a member of the American Independent Writers.
Does Pomegranate Juice Increase Nitric Oxide Levels?
Pomegranate juice has healthy vitamins and minerals and also promotes nitric oxide production. Photo Credit The cut pomegranate and garnet juice in a glass. image by Dmitriy Melnikov from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Pomegranates have been a popular fruit for millennia and were thought of in ancient civilizations as symbols of prosperity and hope. In fact, in turns out that pomegranates may be more beneficial than the Greeks and Egyptians could have ever known. Modern research is growing that pomegranate juice contains compounds that could help boost levels of nitric oxide in the body and fight heart disease. Although it’s too soon to turn to pomegranates instead of traditional cardiovascular treatments, drinking pomegranate juice may be a tasty way to support a healthy heart and blood vessels.

Identification

Nitric oxide is a colorless gas with molecules containing one nitrogen atom and one oxygen atom that is involved in many important human physiological processes. Due to nitric oxide’s potential to help heart disease, build muscle and dilate the blood vessels that cause erections, the journal “Science” named nitric oxide Molecule of the Year in 1992. The 1998 Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to the three people who discovered how nitric oxide and nitroglycerine work in the body to treat heart disease.

Significance

Nitric oxide helps increase and protect the artery lining to keep your arteries from becoming clogged. The inner layer of cells, called the endothelium, releases nitric oxide, which in turn sends a signal to the smooth-muscle cells of your artery walls prompting them to dilate. Wider arteries helps increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure and can prevent blood clots. Antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which pomegranate contains, help prevent the breakdown of nitric oxide in your body, and pomegranate juice is particularly helpful at augmenting nitric oxide.

Expert Insight

Two studies published in the scientific journal “Nitric Oxide” tried to determine the effectiveness of pomegranate juice in promoting nitric oxide production. The first, from September 2006, found that pomegranate juice was more potent than Concord grape juice, blueberry juice, red wine or ascorbic acid in protecting nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and augmented nitric oxide’s biological actions. The second study, published two months later, showed that pomegranate juice enhanced the effects of nitric oxide synthesis in the endothelial cells that line coronary arteries. An Italian study published in 2005 in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” also examined the role of pomegranate juice in nitric oxide synthesis in artery sections with the plaque deposits. Pomegranate juice increased the levels of nitric oxide in all blood vessels, particularly in blood vessels with the most plaque buildup.

Considerations

As of May 2011, no clinical trials had been conducted on the effects of pomegranate juice to increase nitric oxide levels in humans. Although pomegranate juice is likely safe for most people, long-term side effects or any drug interactions are unknown. One case of an allergy to pomegranate was reported in 1992 in the “Journal of Investigative Allergology & Clinical Immunology” in a child with asthma.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.