Drink Up Your Pomegranate Juice! By Mrs Vera West
Having had a heart attack, and struggling to keep cardiovascular disease under control, I naturally enough found this Natural news.com article fascinating:
The article reports on a mouse study, and that is the lab creature they tend to use, where mice who were bred to be prone to cardiovascular disease were fed pomegranate juice: “According to the results of the study, pomegranate extract served as a natural broom that cleaned plaque sticking to the mice’s coronary arteries. This prevented atherosclerosis, where the walls of the arteries get thicker due to accumulating fatty materials that turn into plaque.”
Of course, it is a jump to apply the results mechanically to humans, but other studies involving human subjects have delivered suggestive results:
“GreenMedInfo also reported that a separate research study from 2004 discovered that year-long consumption of pomegranate juice reversed the build-up of deadly plaque in the arteries of patients who were suffering from plaque blockage of 70 to 90 percent of their internal carotid arteries. “The mean intima media thickness of the left and right common carotid arteries in severe carotid artery stenosis patients that consumed pomegranate juice for up to one year was reduced after three, six, nine, and 12 months of pomegranate juice consumption by 13 percent, 22 percent, 26 percent, and 35 percent, respectively,” said the 2004 Israeli study.
According to the researchers, pomegranate exhibited three properties responsible for its effectiveness against atherosclerosis. First, pomegranate possesses antioxidant properties. It prevents heart disease from overcoming the body’s ability to purge toxins or repair damage. Second, the fruit was proven to lower systolic blood pressure. It can heal the endothelium lining the inner part of the artery, allowing it to relax and function properly. Finally, pomegranate has a positive effect on plaque-causing lesions. By reducing cholesterol and lipid peroxides as well as preventing oxidation of low-density lipoprotein, pomegranate makes the lesion smaller and less capable of causing atherosclerosis. GreenMedInfo called the finding “quite revolutionary”.
Current medical knowledge diagnoses carotid artery stenosis (the abnormal narrowing of the major blood vessels that supply the brain and head) through the size of the plaque-causing lesion. No one has looked at the lesion’s quality. The second study also suggested that measuring the quantity of cholesterol in the blood does not give an accurate picture of the body’s health. Low-density lipoproteins remained benign unless oxidized. By improving the body’s internal environment, pomegranate reduced the rate at which bad cholesterol got oxidized into plaque, thereby preventing atherosclerosis. Finally, the study showed that pomegranate juice does not interfere with conventional drugs. In fact, it either complemented or compensated for them”
All in all, one glass of this juice with the evening meal can take the place of a beer or wine, and help the old ticker!