Delicious and packed with antioxidants, pomegranate has promise for heart health and dental plaque. Learn about the latest research on this amazing fruit here.
The pomegranate fruit has a leathery rind (or husk) with many little pockets of edible seeds and juice inside. Researchers have studied all parts of this fruit for their potential health benefits. Those parts include the fruit, seeds, seed oil, tannin-rich peel, root, leaf, and flower .
It has been used as a dietary supplement for various conditions including wounds, sore throats, and diarrhea. Pomegranate is made into capsules, extracts, teas, powders, and juice products .
Pomegranate is safe to eat as food, but supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use and generally lack solid clinical research. Regulations set manufacturing standards for them but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing.
Pomegranate juice is a great source of polyphenols with high antioxidant potential. Moreover, it also stops plaque build-up in the arteries, lowers blood pressure, and has anti-inflammatory effects.
Punicic acid, which is the main constituent of pomegranate seed oil, prevented plaque build-up in the arteries of 51 patients with high blood lipid levels. The seed oil also greatly lowered cholesterol levels in these same patients .
The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of pomegranate for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to speak with a doctor before using pomegranate for health reasons, and do not use it in place of something your doctor recommends or prescribes.
A mouthwash made with pomegranate extract reduced dental plaque in 60 healthy volunteers .
Bacteria bacterial interactions with yeasts are related to the maintenance of oral microbiota. Dried, powdered pomegranate peel shows a strong inhibition of C. Albicans. In addition, its extract was very effective against dental plaque microorganisms .
No clinical evidence supports the use of pomegranate for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.
Arthritis affects joint function and quality of life in patients. Proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 and TNF-α causes joint pain. MAPKs are important due to their inflammatory and cartilage damage regulation. Pomegranate extract, with its rich source of polyphenols, has anti-inflammatory activity .
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects 0.5-1% of people worldwide. This inflammatory disease causes inflammation and bone erosion. The extract could reduce the onset and incidence of collagen-induced arthritis in mice. The severity of arthritis and joint inflammation got lower in extract-fed mice .
Since bacterial resistance to antimicrobial drugs is increasing, medicinal plants can be alternative agents. Dried powder of pomegranate peel has a high inhibition of Candida albicans. In addition, both its extracts have antimicrobial effects .
Solar ultraviolet radiation is the primary cause of many biological effects such as photoaging and skin cancer. This radiation can cause DNA damage and problems with proteins .
The use of both its extract and flower showed a significant reduction in wound area in diabetic rats. It also increased collagen and protein formation .
One of the main constituents (16%) of the pomegranate seed extract is beta-sitosterol. This protects mice embryos. Moreover, juice consumption could increase sperm concentration, motility, and help increase fertility .
Polyphenols of fermented juice and its oil can inhibit the multiplication of cancer cells. The fruit extract also inhibited tumor growth in mice .
Fermented pomegranate juice has double the effect compared to fresh juice in human breast cancer cell lines. It stopped the multiplication of the cancer cells .
The fruit extract can also inhibit several signaling pathways, which can be used in the treatment of human lung cancer .
Its oil also has chemopreventive efficacy in mice. It reduced tumor formation and the number of tumors .
Inflammation plays a key role in the development of colon cancer. Both ellagitannins and urolithins from the fruit extract inhibited cancer cell proliferation and increase cancer cell death .
The relevance of cell and animal research on human cancer is unknown.