Pomegranate (generic name)
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CategoryHerbs & Supplements
Ellagic acid, ellagitannins, Granada, Grenade, Grenadier, hydroalcoholic extract (HAE), PJ, polyphenols, POM Wonderful® variety pomegranate juice, pomegranate extracts, POMx, Punica proto-punica, Punicaceae (family), Punica Granatum, Shi liu gen (Chinese), Shi liu gen pi (Chinese), Shi liu pi (Chinese), tannins.
One pomegranate delivers approximately 40% of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement and is high in polyphenol compounds. These compounds are thought to reduce 'silent inflammation,' which is at the root of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Although pomegranate juice has been commonly consumed for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), evidence of its effectiveness is inconclusive. Pomegranate juice may have antioxidant properties, but its effects have not been widely studied; more evidence is needed. More research is needed for the use of pomegranate as an antifungal agent before a firm recommendation can be made.
Pomegranate has a long history of use as a food and medicine in Asia and South America. In the United States, pomegranate is typically juiced or the seeds are used as food. Pomegranate may have medicinal benefit as an anthelmintic (expels worms) and antidiarrheal agent, although reports conflict. The seeds may have phytoestrogenic qualities and may be used in hormonally-related conditions such as menopause.
EvidenceDISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
An extract of pomegranate was shown to be as effective as a commonly used oral (by mouth) gel when used topically (applied on the skin) to treat candidiasis (yeast infection) associated with denture stomatitis (mouth sores). Additional study is needed to confirm pomegranate's antifungal effects and make a strong recommendation.
Early studies suggest that pomegranate juice may have antioxidant properties, but the effects in humans are still unclear. Additional studies, including those in specific disease states in which free radical oxidation is prominent (such as diabetes and cancer), are warranted.
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries):
Preliminary study of pomegranate for atherosclerosis is mixed. Pomegranate juice may decrease serum angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity and lower blood pressure in elderly hypertensive (high blood pressure) patients. However, additional study is warranted to confirm these findings.
Extracts from pomegranate fruits may be beneficial in dental plaque accumulation and gum disease. Additional studies are warranted.
Pomegranate juice has been studied in the treatment of mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Early study is unclear, and more studies are needed to make a firm recommendation.
High blood pressure:
Pomegranate juice may lower blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure.
Consumption of a juice containing a combination of fruits, including pomegranate, was found to have a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels. Additional studies in which pomegranate alone is used are needed.
Lung disease (COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease):
It is unclear whether pomegranate juice is helpful for chronic obstructive lung disease. In theory, pomegranate may be beneficial because of its antioxidant effects, but studies in humans do not support this theory. Additional studies in this area are warranted.
There is currently not enough evidence to support the use of pomegranate in the reduction of menopausal symptoms.
Consumption of pomegranate juice may be beneficial to patients with prostate cancer. Although early study is promising, more study is needed to a make a strong recommendation.
Taking ellagic acid-rich pomegranate extract by mouth may reduce damage to the skin caused by exposure to UV rays. Additional studies in this area are warranted.