Pomegranate Juice May Help Baby Brain Development
Babies diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction measure small for their gestational age, and often experience abnormal and delayed brain development. A new study suggests that consuming pomegranate juice daily during pregnancy may help protect brain development and brain connectivity in babies with intrauterine growth restriction.
Seventy-eight pregnant women participated in the study. Their babies were all diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction. Half of the women drank 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily and half drank a taste-matched placebo from enrollment until delivery. The babies underwent brain MRI after birth to evaluate brain injury score, brain metrics, brain volumes, and resting state functional connectivity.
The researchers found that the babies of the women who drank the pomegranate juice had altered white matter organization and functional connectivity. This indicates that their brains developed better on a functional level compared to the brains of the babies whose mothers drank the placebo.
The study was conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Washington University. It was published online ahead of print on August 21, 2019 in the journal PLOS ONE.