For thousands of years, pomegranates have been known for their medicinal properties. Today, pomegranate supplements have become more popular than ever due to their numerous health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help prevent and manage various health conditions.
Pomegranate is a fruit that belongs to the Lythraceae family. It is native to the Middle East but has now spread throughout the world. The fruit has a hard outer layer called a husk or rind which contains hundreds of small red seeds surrounded by juice-filled sacs.
Pomegranates contain high levels of polyphenols, which are natural compounds found in plants that act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body.
One study published in 2017 found that consuming pomegranate juice daily for four weeks reduced oxidative stress markers significantly compared to those who didn’t consume it (1).
Here are some potential benefits of using pomegranate supplements:
1) Lowering blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke worldwide. Pomegranate supplements may help lower blood pressure due to its high antioxidant content.
A study conducted on hypertensive patients showed that drinking eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily for four weeks lowered systolic blood pressure by 5 percent and diastolic blood pressure by 2 percent (2).
Another study found similar results after six months’ consumption of pomegranate extract; participants had significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures (3).
2) Reducing inflammation
Inflammation can cause several chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease amongst others. Chronic inflammation happens when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues causing damage over time.
Studies have shown that consuming pomegranates or its extracts can reduce inflammation in the body (4). Some studies suggest that pomegranate supplements may help alleviate symptoms of arthritis, a condition characterized by joint pain and stiffness.
In a study conducted on 38 individuals with osteoarthritis, those who consumed pomegranate extract for six months had significant improvements in physical function and pain scores compared to those who received a placebo (5).
3) Boosting heart health
Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols, which have been shown to improve heart health. Studies have shown that pomegranate supplements can help reduce cholesterol levels, triglycerides and lower blood pressure.
A review of eight studies showed that consuming pomegranate or its products significantly reduced total cholesterol levels as well as LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels (6).
Another study found that consuming 1.5 ounces of pomegranate extract daily for four weeks improved blood flow to the heart muscle during exercise in patients with coronary artery disease (7).
4) Improving memory
As we age, our cognitive abilities tend to decline. Pomegranates contain compounds called punicalagins which are believed to exert neuroprotective effects.
According to one study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal, participants who consumed pomegranate juice for four weeks had better memory tests scores than those who took a placebo (8).
Another study found similar results when older adults were given an eight-ounce serving of pomegranate juice daily for four weeks; they had significant improvements in visual memory tasks compared to those who didn’t consume it(9).
5) Fighting cancer
Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth and division of abnormal cells within the body. Pomegranates contain several bioactive compounds such as ellagic acid and punicalagin which are believed to possess anti-cancer properties.
Studies have suggested that pomegranate extract may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells in various types of cancer such as breast, lung, and prostate cancers (10).
One study showed that consuming one gram of pomegranate extract daily for six months significantly reduced PSA levels in men with prostate cancer undergoing treatment (11).
Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which offer numerous health benefits. Pomegranate supplements have been shown to reduce blood pressure, inflammation and improve heart health.
They can also help improve memory function and fight against cancer. However, it’s worth noting that most studies have been conducted on small sample sizes or animal models hence more research is needed to establish their full therapeutic potential.
If you’re considering taking pomegranate supplements, consult your doctor first especially if you’re taking medication for any chronic condition as they may interact with some drugs.