Top 10 Health Benefits of Pomegranate – Human Case Studies

Pomegranate Health Benefits
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Here are the top 10 health benefits of pomegranate fruit and supplements based off of human case studies.

1. Pomegranates are Packed with Antioxidants & Powerful Nutrients

Pomegranates are Full of Antioxidants

Since ancient times the pomegranate has been considered a symbol of fertility, rejuvenation, and eternal life. There are records of it being used medicinally as far back as 1500 BC.

However, modern research shows the health benefits of this distinctive fruit are very real.

Pomegranates are a fantastic source of vitamin C, providing 48 percent of your daily recommended intake and about 60 percent of essential vitamin K.

They’re also packed with minerals, providing copper, potassium, folate, and manganese.

You’ll also get the B vitamins needed for healthy energy metabolism and nerves, like pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and thiamin.

Antioxidants prevent disease-causing free radical damage, and pomegranates deliver with ample amounts of protective polyphenols. Pomegranate contains three antioxidant polyphenols:

While most fruit contains one or two, pomegranates have all three, as well as another antioxidant called punicalagin.

Punicalagins are powerful antioxidants found in pomegranate juice and peel.

This antioxidant combination is so strong that pomegranate juice has three times the antioxidant activity of red wine or green tea (1).

For this reason, pomegranate extracts and powder are typically made using the peel, to take full advantage of its antioxidant and punicalagin content.

2. Pomegranate is a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory

Inflammation is a natural process that protects the body from infections, illness, and injury. But when inflammation is chronic, it can cause serious health issues.

Researchers believe that the occurrence of some inflammation may be reduced by including pomegranates as part of your regular diet.

One study in particular, found that the antioxidant ellagic acid in pomegranate extract may be responsible for anti-inflammatory activities in the gut (2).

Other studies support the idea that pomegranate, either the fruit or the extract, acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent (3,4).

3. Pomegranate Increases Cardiovascular Health

Pomegranate Improves Heart Health

Pomegranate is a rich source of antioxidant compounds that help the body prevent free radicals that damage cell membranes and DNA, raising the risk of health issues like atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.

A clinical study shows that pomegranate antioxidants help improve cardiovascular function.

Published in the American Journal of Cardiology, the study found that patients with coronary artery disease who drank pomegranate juice every day for three months showed much less restriction in blood supply than other patients who drank a placebo (4).

4. Pomegranate Increases Testosterone

Recent research has found a disturbing trend; men’s testosterone levels are falling – worldwide. Low testosterone can cause a broad range of symptoms that include:

  • Low energy
  • Reduced libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Obesity

While no one knows what exactly is causing this to happen, there is strong evidence that pomegranate could help increase levels of this vital sex hormone.

According to a study from Queen Margaret University in the UK, men given pomegranate juice for two weeks increased their testosterone levels an average of 24 percent (5).

This especially benefits men, who tend to lose muscle mass and sexual function as their hormone levels naturally decline with age.

Taking pomegranate extract has also been found to stimulate sperm quality and fertility.

In one study, men took tablets containing pomegranate powder or a placebo. After three months, the men who got pomegranate powder increased sperm motility by a massive 62 percent (6).

This is why pomegranates made our list of best natural testosterone boosters.

Side Note: Women also need a healthy level of testosterone and while it may not be as important to women as men for overall health, it is still a crucial element for health biological function no matter your gender.

5. Pomegranate Increases Nitric Oxide & Athletic Performance

Pomegranate Increases Nitric Oxide & Athletic Performance

Pomegranates along with beets are two of the most beneficial foods and supplements on the planet for increasing nitric oxide which has a wide range of benefits included boosting athletic (and other types) of performance.

Numerous studies suggest that dietary nitrates can enhance athletic performance, especially during high-intensity endurance exercise.

This appears to be due to nitrates increasing the efficiency of mitochondria, the parts of cells that produce energy (7).

When nitrates enter the body they increase nitric oxide (NO).

A study of 19 athletes tested on a treadmill found that just one gram of pomegranate extract taken 30 minutes before exercising powerfully enhanced blood flow, which increased their endurance and exercise efficiency (8).

Pomegranate has been shown to increase endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) which is key in production of nitric oxide (NO) from the amino acid l-arginine (9).

On top of that, the extremely high antioxidant level appears to also protect nitric oxide from oxidative destruction and enhances its biological action (10).

6. Pomegranate Increases Blood Flow & Erection Strength

Increasing nitric oxide production and bioavailability is good for more than just athletic performance!

This extra blood flow can also improve reproductive organ health resulting in both stronger erections (in men) and improved sensitivity and orgasms (in both men and women).

Pomegranate made my list of the 9 best supplements to boost a man’s libido.

7. Pomegranate Lowers Blood Pressure

As it turns out, there are even more benefits to improving nitric oxide production which is decreased blood pressure!

30 patients were recently given a nitric oxide lozenge and diastolic as well as systolic blood pressure both significantly decreased within just 20 minutes.

After a full hour the patients were checked again and the researchers found their blood pressure continues to drop (11).

In a second human study, researchers found that blood pressure was lowered by more than 12% with consumption of pomegranate juice (12).

8. Pomegranate Lowers LDL (Bad Cholesterol)

There are two types of cholesterol in your body:

  1. (LDL) – Bad cholesterol
  2. HDL – Good cholesterol

You want to keep your LDL low and improve your triglyceride to HDL ratio to keep your arteries unclogged and heart healthy.

Multiple human case studies have no shown pomegranate to lower LDL, improve triglyceride/HDL ratios and reduce atherosclerotic plaque (12, 13, 14).

9. Pomegranate Helps Improve Memory

Improves Memory

There is strong evidence that pomegranate can improve your memory.

In particular, foods with high concentrations of bioactive polyphenols have been shown to be neuroprotective in animal models of stroke (15) and Alzheimer’s disease (16)

However, we like to focus on human based case studies!

One human study found that taken before heart surgery, two grams of pomegranate extract actually prevented the typical memory deficits expected after surgery (17).

Another study in 28 older adults with memory problems discovered that just 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day significantly improved markers of verbal and visual memory (18).

10. Pomegranate May Prevent Prostate Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, almost 10 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime (19)

But lab studies suggest that pomegranate extract could significantly slow cancer cell growth and even stimulate cancer cell death (20, 21).

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a blood marker for prostate cancer, and men whose levels double in a short period of time have an increased risk of death from prostate cancer.

A recent human study discovered that drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice every day increased the time it took for PSA to double from 15 to 54 months, a potentially life-saving improvement (22).

The Next Level Difference

Next Level Superfoods Multivitamin features 750 mg of Pomegranate Extract in a 4:1 concentration. That’s equivalent to a whopping 3,000 mg!!

It also features dozens of other superfoods designed in help increase blood flow, fight free radicals and so much more.

You may also like our article the best multivitamins for men and women.

REFERENCES

  1. Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing. Gil MI, Tomás-Barberán FA, Hess-Pierce B, Holcroft DM, Kader AA. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Oct;48(10):4581-9. – Link
  2. Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Golbon Sohrab, Javad Nasrollahzadeh, Hamid Zand,1 Zohreh Amiri,1 Maryam Tohidi,2 and Masoud Kimiagar. J Res Med Sci. 2014 Mar; 19(3): 215–220 – Link
  3. Anti-Inflammatory Mechanism Involved in Pomegranate-Mediated Prevention of Breast Cancer: the Role of NF-κB and Nrf2 Signaling Pathways. Animesh Mandal, Deepak Bhatia, Anupam Bishayee. Nutrients. 2017 May; 9(5): 436 – Link
  4. Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary heart disease. Sumner MD1, Elliott-Eller M, Weidner G, Daubenmier JJ, Chew MH, Marlin R, Raisin CJ, Ornish D. Am J Cardiol. 2005 Sep 15;96(6):810-4 – Link
  5. Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and women. Emad Al-Dujaili & Nacer Smail. Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 28 P313 – Link
  6. An extract of pomegranate fruit and galangal rhizome increases the numbers of motile sperm: a prospective, randomised, controlled, double-blinded trial. Fedder MD, Jakobsen HB, Giversen I, Christensen LP, Parner ET, Fedder J. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 2;9(9):e108532 – Link
  7. Dietary inorganic nitrate improves mitochondrial efficiency in humans. Larsen FJ1, Schiffer TA, Borniquel S, Sahlin K, Ekblom B, Lundberg JO, Weitzberg E. Cell Metab. 2011 Feb 2;13(2):149-59 – Link
  8. The effects of pomegranate extract on blood flow and running time to exhaustion. Eric T. Trexler, Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, Malia N. Melvin,a Erica J. Roelofs, Hailee L. Wingfield. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Sep; 39(9): 1038–1042 – Link
  9. Effects of a pomegranate fruit extract rich in punicalagin on oxidation-sensitive genes and eNOS activity at sites of perturbed shear stress and atherogenesis. de Nigris F, Williams-Ignarro S, Sica V, Lerman LO, D’Armiento FP, Byrns RE, Casamassimi A, Carpentiero D, Schiano C, Sumi D, Fiorito C, Ignarro LJ, Napoli C. – Link
  10. Pomegranate juice protects nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and enhances the biological actions of nitric oxide. Ignarro LJ, Byrns RE, Sumi D, de Nigris F, Napoli C. – Link
  11. Acute Effects of an Oral Nitric Oxide Supplement on Blood Pressure, Endothelial Function, and Vascular Compliance in Hypertensive Patients Mark Houston MD, MS, MSc & Laurie Hays RN, BSN – Link
  12. P juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hoffman A, Dornfeld L, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Liker H, Hayek T. – Link
  13. P juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, Volkova N, Kaplan M, Coleman R, Hayek T, Presser D, Fuhrman B. – Link
  14. Cholesterol-lowering effect of concentrated P juice consumption in type II diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Esmaillzadeh A, Tahbaz F, Gaieni I, Alavi-Majd H, Azadbakht L. – Link
  15. Maternal dietary supplementation with P juice is neuroprotective in an animal model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Loren DJ, Seeram NP, Schulman RN, Holtzman DM. Pediatr Res. 2005 Jun;57(6):858-64 – Link
  16. Consumption of pomegranates improves synaptic function in a transgenic mice model of Alzheimer’s disease. Braidy N, Essa MM, Poljak A, Selvaraju S, Al-Adawi S, Manivasagm T, Thenmozhi AJ, Ooi L, Sachdev P, Guillemin GJ. Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 4;7(40):64589-64604 – Link
  17. Pomegranate Supplementation Protects against Memory Dysfunction after Heart Surgery: A Pilot Study. Susan A. Ropacki, Sapna M. Patel, and Richard E. Hartman. – Link
  18. Pomegranate Juice Augments Memory and fMRI Activity in Middle-Aged and Older Adults with Mild Memory Complaints. Susan Y. Bookheimer, Brian A. Renner, Arne Ekstrom, Zhaoping Li, Susanne M. Henning, Jesse A. Brown, Mike Jones, Teena Moody, and Gary W. Small. – Link
  19. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. Cancer.org – Link
  20. Studies on the Cytotoxic Activities of Punica granatum L. var. spinosa (Apple Punice) Extract on Prostate Cell Line by Induction of Apoptosis. Sineh Sepehr K, Baradaran B, Mazandarani M, Khori V, Shahneh FZ. – Link
  21. Antiproliferative effects of pomegranate extract in MCF-7 breast cancer cells are associated with reduced DNA repair gene expression and induction of double strand breaks. Shirode AB, Kovvuru P, Chittur SV, Henning SM, Heber D, Reliene R. – Link
  22. Phase II study of pomegranate juice for men with rising prostate-specific antigen following surgery or radiation for prostate cancer. Pantuck AJ, Leppert JT, Zomorodian N, Aronson W, Hong J, Barnard RJ, Seeram N, Liker H, Wang H, Elashoff R, Heber D, Aviram M, Ignarro L, Belldegrun A. – Link
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