Risks and Benefits of Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranates act like a prebiotic in the gut, creating a beneficial environment for probiotics to flourish.
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Pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants and other nutrients that are associated with several wellness advantages. However, it isn't recommended for people on certain medications, as it can cause some unanticipated interactions.

Benefits of Pom Juice

A March 2014 report published in Advanced Biomedical Research provides an overview of what studies have found about pomegranate's value for health. The juice of this fruit is rich in compounds called polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. More research needs to be conducted, but preliminary investigations suggest it may help fight prostate, breast, lung, colon and skin cancers.

Read more: Daily Consumption of Pomegranates

An April 2013 study published in Rambam Maimodies Medical Journal reviewed the body of research on pomegranate juice's effects on cardiovascular disease. It concluded that the juice markedly decreases the risk. The juice protects cholesterol from oxidation, which reduces the development of atherosclerotic plaque, and the likelihood of its consequences such as heart attacks and stroke. The juice also lowers blood pressure.

Pomegranate's benefits also include antimicrobial effects. An October 2017 study published in Biomed Research International evaluated the action of the peel and juice extract on some of the main bacterial strains responsible for dental cavities. Although it was a test-tube study, it's worth mentioning because of the promising results; researchers determined that pomegranate juice could help prevent and treat dental cavities.

Pomegranate Juice vs. Fruit Nutrition

A cup of pure pomegranate juice contains 34 grams of natural sugar, 150 calories, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 589 milligrams of potassium and 0 grams fiber, reports the USDA. One raw pomegranate contains 21.1 grams of natural sugar, 128 calories, 28.8 grams of carbohydrates, 363 milligrams potassium and 6.16 grams fiber, according to the same USDA figures.

The main difference between drinking the juice, and eating the fruit, is that the fruit is a rich source of fiber. Harvard Health Publishing advocates eating fruit, over drinking fruit juice, because the fiber prevents a spike in blood sugar that can result from ingesting the natural sugars all at once.

While drinking fruit juice daily is linked to a higher risk of diabetes, eating two servings of fruit per week is shown to lower the risk of diabetes. Sprinkling pomegranate seeds in a salad will provide the antioxidants, without taxing the body to process the sugar content.

Read more: 5 Health Benefits of Pomegranate Seeds That Pack a Powerful Punch

Pomegranate Juice Side Effects

According to the Mayo Clinic, pomegranate juice is generally safe to drink, if you check the label to ensure that it's 100 percent juice you are consuming. Products called juice drinks or cocktails are actually a mixture of juices, and usually contain added sugar. They increase caloric intake, which decreases the cardiovascular benefits.

Pomegranate juice is rich in potassium, which might pose a problem for people with chronic kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Because a low-potassium diet is often recommended for this condition, check with your doctor before adding pomegranate to your diet.

The supplement can interact negatively with certain medications. It shouldn't be taken with the blood thinner warfarin, says the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It also may reduce the effectiveness of the diabetes drug metformin.

In addition, pomegranate extract can produce dangerous side effects if taken with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These include enalapril, captopril, lisinopril and ramipril, according to the Mayo Clinic.