What is pomegranate juice?

Pomegranate juice has become a popular drink. This is largely due to the hyped health claims. It can lower inflammation, improve heart health, and more.

Research supports some health claims, but also found some safety concerns. This article looks at the science, side effects and negative interactions, and how to best choose, use, and even make your own pomegranate juice.

pomegranate is a fruit Pomegranate Tree. The fruit itself is bitter, so only the seeds are eaten. One pomegranate contains nearly 30 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C. This is about 40% of the daily recommended amount.

use

The health benefits of pomegranate and its juice have been fairly well researched. However, most of them are preliminary.

The main uses are:

  • Improve heart health
  • reduce inflammation
  • prevent an infection
  • reduce plaque

heart health

Pomegranate juice might lower blood pressure and improve risk factors for high blood pressure (hypertension), a review of studies said.

A rodent study showed that the juice was more effective than the seeds at lowering inflammation and cholesterol. These are considered risk factors for heart disease.

Research shows that pomegranate juice can improve:

  • blood pressure
  • LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
  • triglyceride levels
  • hypertension
  • atherosclerosis
  • coronary artery disease
  • peripheral arterial disease

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said it was “cautiously optimistic.” More research is needed to confirm these benefits.

historical use

Pomegranates have been used medicinally since at least 1500 BC. It is then used to treat tapeworms, other parasitic infections and fertility.

inflammation and infection

A review of studies suggests that pomegranates may help fight chronic inflammation. This could make it useful for conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, larger, better-designed trials are needed.

Inflammation is part of your immune response to infection. Research suggests that pomegranate juice may help ward off infections. In one study, dialysis patients had:

  • Fewer people hospitalized with infections
  • fewer signs of inflammation

Again, more research is needed.

Plaque

There is limited evidence that pomegranate juice may help control plaque.

In one small study, 30 people used pomegranate mouthwash, antiseptic mouthwash, or water. The researchers found that the pomegranate solution performed as well as the antiseptic solution. It has no negative effects.

It also appears to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause periodontitis, an inflammatory gum disease.

Other uses

Other health benefits of pomegranates are being researched, including:

  • cancer prevention
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • diabetes
  • erectile dysfunction
  • kidney disease

It’s too early to know if it’s safe and effective for these conditions.

review

Pomegranate juice can improve heart health, reduce inflammation, fight infection, and prevent plaque buildup. The evidence is promising, but limited for these and other uses.

possible side effects

A typical amount of pomegranate juice is probably safe for most people. But some people should proceed with caution.

It is possible to be allergic to pomegranate. This can lead to:

  • itching
  • swelling
  • runny nose
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Allergic reactions (life-threatening reactions)

If you have oral allergy syndrome, you may be sensitive to pomegranates. This condition involves an allergy to birch pollen and many fruits.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your healthcare provider if pomegranate juice is safe for you.

Some people have digestive side effects of pomegranate. Diarrhea is the most common one. Pomegranate roots, stems, and peels contain high amounts of potentially harmful substances.

Pomegranate juice may also interact negatively with certain medications.

Cholesterol Drug Interactions

Some early evidence suggests that combining pomegranate with statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) can be dangerous. These include:

  • Lipitor (atorvastatin)
  • Mevacor (lovastatin)
  • Zocor (simvastatin)

This combination may cause rhabdomyolysis. This is a serious condition that involves the breakdown of muscle fibers and possible kidney failure.

This may be due to pomegranate blocking an enzyme in the gut. This will allow you to absorb more of the drug.

Grapefruit juice is known for this effect, and many drug labels warn against drinking it.

Other potential interactions

Pomegranate juice may interact with other medications, such as:

  • Antiarrhythmic drugs: Drugs that treat irregular heartbeats. These include Cordarone (amiodarone), Norpace (disopyramide), and quinidine.
  • Calcium channel blockers: Drugs that lower blood pressure. Including Plendil (felodipine), Cardene (nicardipine), Procardia (nifedipine), Nimotop (nimodipine), Sular (nisoldipine).
  • Immunosuppressants: Drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases. Includes Sandimmune, Neoral (cyclosporine), Prograf (tacrolimus)
  • Protease inhibitors: Antiretroviral drugs. Including Invirase (saquinavir), Norvir (ritonavir), Crixivan (indinavir).

Your healthcare provider and pharmacist can help you determine if pomegranate juice is safe with the over-the-counter and prescription medicines you take.

review

While pomegranate juice is largely safe, side effects, allergies, and drug interactions are possible.

Select, prepare and store

You’ll find pomegranate juice at most grocery stores. It might be next to the juice aisle or whole fruit.

Organic juices can help you avoid harmful chemicals. Also, check the label to see if other juices or sweeteners have been added.

Consider whether you need pasteurized juice. Pasteurization kills harmful bacteria, but may also kill other compounds in the juice.

Some people choose to make their own fresh pomegranate juice. To do this, liquefy the seeds in a blender. The juice is then filtered to remove roughage.

Pomegranate Nutrition, Prep Tips & Recipes

generalize

Some early evidence suggests that pomegranate juice can improve heart health, fight inflammation and infection, and prevent plaque. More research is needed.

Ask your healthcare provider if pomegranate juice is safe for you. It may cause side effects, allergies, and adverse drug interactions in some people.

VigorTip words

For most people, pomegranate juice is safe to drink in moderation. Plus, it’s generally healthy and safe to try.

Keep in mind that even natural products can be dangerous to some people or under certain circumstances. Always be safe and consult a healthcare practitioner any time food is used as medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should you look out for when buying a whole pomegranate?

    You’ll find the best fruit when it’s ripe. From late summer to early winter.

    • Ripe pomegranates should feel heavy.
    • Skin should be bright or deep red and feel firm and firm.
    • Browning means it may be past its heyday.
    • Abrasion on the skin does not affect its quality.
  • What’s the best way to store whole pomegranates?

    You can keep pomegranates at room temperature for a week or two. Refrigeration can keep it fresh for up to three months. Keep it whole until you’re ready to eat.
    If you do remove the seeds, keep them in the refrigerator.