Pomegranates are rich in vitamins B and C, and many other antioxidants. Pomegranate juice has three times the amount of polyphenols than are found in green tea. These polyphenols are antioxidants that have been proven to protect against cancer, heart disease and lower blood pressure.
A new study now suggests that the pomegranate can ward off a number of complications in kidney disease patients on dialysis, including reduced inflammation and other complications associated with kidney disease, according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Denver, CO.
The study examined 101 dialysis patients who received either pomegranate juice or another placebo drink at the beginning of each dialysis session, three times a week for one year.
Laboratory tests showed that patients who drank pomegranate juice experienced reduced inflammation and less damage caused by oxidative stress. Furthermore, pomegranate juice drinkers were less likely to be hospitalized due to infections. These findings support other studies that suggest pomegranate juice has potent antioxidant properties.
The study also revealed that those who drank pomegranate juice also showed an improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, such as reduced blood pressure and improvement in lipid profile, suggesting that they had better heart health.
The authors say their findings suggest that drinking a controlled amount of pomegranate juice with a safe and monitored content of potassium may help reduce the complications that often occur in dialysis patients.
"Considering the expected epidemic of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the next decade, further clinical trials using pomegranate juice aimed at reducing the high cardiovascular morbidity of CKD patients and their deterioration to end-stage renal disease should be conducted," said one of the authors of the study.
The pomegranate is a wonderful all-round health protector. As well as its benefits highlighted in this study, its abundant levels of powerful antioxidants preserve health in other ways. Pomegranate helps prevent heart damage and the build-up of plaque in the arteries. It can ease the pain of osteoarthritis by slowing the deterioration of cartilage in the joints and preventing inflammation. It has also been found to reduce the risk of developing several cancers, and in men who already have prostate cancer, pomegranate has been found to slow the rate at which tumors grow.
Research Paper Details:
Ronit Geron, et al. One Year of pomegranate juice Consumption Decreases Oxidative stress, inflammation and Incidence of infections in Hemodialysis Patients. 2010.