Flavonoid-Rich Pomegranate Juice May Help Improve Blood Pressure
Pomegranate juice is a polyphenol-rich fruit juice with high antioxidant capacity. A recent study suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may improve heart health by lowering blood pressure.
For this study, researchers considered 986 randomized controlled trials that include the terms “blood pressure,” “hypertension,” and “pomegranate.” From the initial trials, they chose eight that qualified for systematic review and analysis. All of the studies were published between 2004 and 2014 and lasted between two weeks and 18 months. In total, there were 574 participants, most of them above the age of 40.
After examining the data, the researchers determined that drinking pomegranate juice was associated with a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Changes were noted in systolic blood pressure regardless of the length of the study. Reductions were noted in diastolic blood pressure when the participants took doses that were more than 8.12 oz of pomegranate juice.
Researchers from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran, University of Western Australia, University of L’Aquila in Italy, University of Turin in Italy, and Charles University in Prague conducted the study. It was published in the January 2017 issue of Pharmacological Research.
The researchers hypothesized that the heart health-protective qualities of pomegranate juice seen in this analysis were due to the high levels of flavonoids it contains. Flavonoids are naturally occurring antioxidants which have previously been shown to decrease inflammation, protect our DNA from damage, and improve heart and brain health by increasing blood flow. Foods high in flavonoids include citrus fruits, grapes, strawberries, tea, cooked greens and dark chocolate.