Pomegranate is a fruit that has been used for centuries in Asia and the Middle East to treat indigestion and antibacterial infections. Most of its effects are due to antioxidants called polyphenols. Evidence indicates that consuming pomegranate fruit extract can provide several benefits for overall health. Consult your health care provider before taking pomegranate pills.
Pomegranate extract might halt prostate cancer growth, according to a study conducted by researchers at Germany's Philipps University, which discovered that human prostate cancer cells exposed to pomegranate extract underwent apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Although this finding is promising, further research on humans is necessary. The research was published in the 2004 issue of the “Journal of Medicinal Food.”
Chronic inflammation can cause narrowing of your blood vessels, leading to a reduction in blood to vital organs in your body. This in turn prevents your organs from receiving the proper nutrients it needs to function properly and increases the risk for insulin resistance, high cholesterol, heart disease and high blood pressure. Researchers at Case University found that pomegranate extract inhibits the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase, which increases the formation of pro-inflammatory cells, according to research reported in the June 2008 issue of the “Journal of Inflammation."
Pomegranate extract might reduce your risk for getting the flu. Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston discovered that pomegranate extract contains the polyphenol punicalagin, which showed anti-influenza properties in the lab, according to findings reported in the December 2009 issue of “Phytomedicine.”
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, pomegranate extract might interfere with certain medications, including statins and ACE inhibitors. Consult your health care provider before taking pomegranate extract.
- "Journal of Medicinal Food"; "Pomegranate Extracts Potently Suppress Proliferation, Xenograft Growth and Invasion of Human Prostate Cancer Cells"; M. Albrecht et al; 2004
- "Journal of Inflammation"; "Bioavailable Constituents/Metabolites of Pomegranate (Punica Granatum L) Preferentially Inhibit COX2 Activity Vivo and IL-1Beta-Induced PGE2 Production in Human Chondrocytes in Vitro"; M. Shukla et al; June 2008
- "Phytomedicine"; "Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) Purified Polyphenol Extract Inhibits Influenza Virsu and Has a Synergistic Effect With Oseltamivir"; M. Haidari et al; December 2009
- University of Maryland Medical Center; "Pomegranate"; 2011