Pomegranate is a fruit that has many health benefits. It can help protect against cancer and heart disease, heals wounds, protects the skin, etc. Read below to learn more about this fruit.
What is Pomegranate?
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, seed, 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 .
1) Helps Protect Against Cancer
Pomegranate fruit can help treat human prostate cancer because it could inhibit cell growth and induce cell death. Its fruit extract blocks NFkB and reduces cancer cell viability.
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 .
2) Prevents Heart Diseases
Pomegranate juice is a great source of polyphenols with high antioxidative potential. Moreover, it also stops plaque build up in the arteries, lowers blood pressure, and has anti-inflammatory effects.
High blood pressure is the most common disease in primary care of patients. Pomegranate juice reduces blood pressure .
Punicic acid, which is the main constituent of pomegranate seed oil, stops plaque build-up in the arteries .
The seed oil also greatly lowers cholesterol levels .
3) Reduces the Effects of Arthritis
Arthritis affects joint functions 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, can stop inflammation .
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 .
4) Has Antimicrobial and Antifungal Effects
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 .
5) Protects the Skin
Solar ultraviolet radiations are the primary causes of many biological effects such as photoaging and skin cancer. These radiations can cause DNA damage and problems with proteins .
Use of both its extract and flower showed a significant reduction in the wound area. It also increased collagen and protein formation .
6) Stops Dental Plaque
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 .
7) Increases Fertility
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 .
- The antioxidant and antiatherosclerotic potentials are mainly relevant to the high polyphenol concentrations in pomegranate fruit such as ellagitannins and hydrolyzable tannins. COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes and IL-1 β activity can be inhibited by fruit extract .
- The whole fruit and compounds inhibit TNF-induced MMP-9 promoter activity. Urolithins are metabolites that are metabolized by the human intestinal microflora. These compounds also decreased MMP-9 secretion and mRNA levels induced by HZ or TNF .
- Ellagitannins are responsible for the control of the excessive production of MMP-9, which could result in decreased production of noxious cytokine TNF. TNF cytokines also promote NFκB binding to target sequences while inducing transcription of several genes such as the MMP-9 gene .
- Ellagitannins prevent NFκB promoter activity by blocking NFκB-driven transcription and affecting the entire cytokine cascade. Ellagitannins also inhibit the activation of inflammatory pathways such as MAPK.
- In addition, the compounds could inhibit angiogenesis through the downregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor in cancers .
- The severity of arthritis, joint inflammation, and IL-6 level got lower in extract-fed mice .
- Its juice, extract, and oil causes a decrease in UVB-induced protein expression of c-Fos and phosphorylation of c-Jun .
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