Pomegranates Boost Testosterone, Performance and All-Round Health
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.
Packed with Nutrients
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:
- Ellagic acid
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.
Evidence Suggests Can Prevent Prostate Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, almost 10 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
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 (4).
Pomegranates Are a Strong Testosterone Booster
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
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 older 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.
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 (7).
Other studies support the idea that pomegranate, either the fruit or the extract, acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. (8,9).
Cardiovascular Benefits of Pomegranate
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 (10).
Pomegranates Improve Exercise 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 (11).
Pomegranate is rich in dietary nitrates and increase nitric oxide
When nitrates enter the body they increase nitric oxide (NO).
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.
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 (12).
Helps Memory and May Fight Alzheimer’s
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 (13) and Alzheimer’s disease (14)
One study found that taken before heart surgery, two grams of pomegranate extract actually prevented the typical memory deficits expected after surgery (15).
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 (16).
Recent animal studies also suggest that pomegranate can help fight Alzheimer’s disease (17).
- 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
- 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. ISRN Pharm. 2012;2012:547942 – Link
- 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. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Jul 1;12(13):4018-26 – Link
- 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
- 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
- Ellagic acid in pomegranate extract may be responsible for anti-inflammatory activities in the gut. Elisa Colombo, Enrico Sangiovanni, Mario Dell’Agli. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 247145 – Link
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Maternal dietary supplementation with pomegranate 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
- 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
- Pomegranate Supplementation Protects against Memory Dysfunction after Heart Surgery: A Pilot Study. Susan A. Ropacki, Sapna M. Patel, Richard E. Hartman. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 932401 – Link
- Pomegranate juice augments memory and FMRI activity in middle-aged and older adults with mild memory complaints. Bookheimer SY, Renner BA, Ekstrom A, Li Z, Henning SM, Brown JA, Jones M, Moody T, Small GW. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:946298 – Link
- Pomegranate juice decreases amyloid load and improves behavior in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Hartman RE, Shah A, Fagan AM, Schwetye KE, Parsadanian M, Schulman RN, Finn MB, Holtzman DM. Neurobiol Dis. 2006 Dec;24(3):506-15 – Link