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Pomegranate Juice May Aid Blood Sugar Management in Diabetics

Complications arising from high blood sugar kill approximately 3.4 million type-2 diabetics every year, and this number is expected to continue rising. A recent study suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may help control blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes. 

Participants in the study included 85 people with type-2 diabetes, half of whom drank 1.5 mL of juice per kg of body weight while the other half drank a placebo. The researchers assessed blood sugar, insulin levels, and beta cell function (the cells that store and release insulin) three hours after digestion. 

They found that drinking pomegranate juice was associated with an average lower fasting glucose level (8.5 mmol/L) when compared with the control group (9.44 mmol/L).  However, approximately 20% of the pomegranate juice group did not see any benefit from drinking pomegranate juice. 

A statistical increase in beta-cell function was seen three hours after consumption of the pomegranate juice, compared to the control group. Additionally, the juice group saw a statistically significant decrease in insulin resistance three hours after drinking the juice. 

The researchers believe that the health benefits seen here were most likely due to the high antioxidant levels of pomegranate juice- more than three times higher per ounce than green tea or wine.

Researchers from the Jordan University of Science and Technology conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on August 22, 2014, in Nutrition Research.

Pomegranates are packed with protective vitamins, and ongoing research is investigating their ability to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, improve heart health, reduce cholesterol and reduce joint pain.


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