Pomegranate Juice May Alleviate Knee Joint Pain, Stiffness
Osteoarthritis results in painful knee joints that can make physical movement and activity difficult. A recent study suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may be associated with improvements in physical function and joint stiffness for people with osteoarthritis.
This was the first clinical trial to investigate the benefits of pomegranate juice for people with osteoarthritis. Participants in the study included 38 people with knee osteoarthritis who were given either 200 mL of pomegranate juice to drink daily for six weeks or no intervention.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found the WOMAC total score decreased in the pomegranate juice group from 39.6 to 32.4, while the WOMAC scores in the control group increased from 39.0 to 40.6. They also noted lower levels of matrix metalloproteinases in the pomegranate group, which play a role in the irreversible breakdown of cartilage.
WOMAC is the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index and is a common measure of physical function and joint stiffness.
Researchers from Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 22, 2016, in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
Pomegranates are packed with protective vitamins, and ongoing research is investigating their ability to improve heart health, reduce cholesterol, reduce joint pain and possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer.