POMEGRANATE AND hEALTH

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POMEGRANATE & PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS

A study conducted at Tufts University School of Medicine has found that there is no risk of interference with the metabolism of your prescription medications when using pomegranate juice.

As many may know, there have been issues raised with the use of grapefruit juice when taking prescription medications. The reason for this is that grapefruit juice has been demonstrated to inhibit Cytochrome P450-3A (CYP3A). This is an enzyme that allows your body to both transform and eliminate a prescription drug.

The Tufts study involved fifteen (15) healthy volunteers to test a medication (midazolam), which is commonly used to assess any CYP3A activity in your body. It was administered both orally and by intravenous means. Volunteers then drank water, grapefruit juice, or pomegranate juice. Subsequent blood testing found that the pomegranate juice had not had any effect on CYP3A enzyme, which established that the use of pomegranate juice is safe for use with prescription medications [ Journal of Clincal Pharmacology – 8/24/07].

This indicates that pomegranate fruit extract can block enzymes that lead to osteoarthritis(OA). This study was funded in part by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The mission of NIAMS is to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of arthritis, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine also supported this study.

The actual testing involved using pomegranate fruit extract to determine if it had an effect on cartilage samples taken from participants suffering from OA. The conclusion was that pomegranate did in fact inhibit the production of enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which play a major role in the destruction and degradation of cartilage.

The range of the findings was quite remarkable. At the lowest level of use, pomegranate fruit extract after just 24 hours showed that the MMPs significantly reduced all but the lowest levels of the concentrate. At the high end of the concentration used, MMPs were almost completely blocked.

The team led by Tariq M. Haqqu, Ph.D., stated that, “These novel results suggest that pomegranate fruit, extract, or compounds derived from it may inhibit cartilage degradation in OA, and may also be a useful nutritive supplement for maintaining joint integrity and function.”

            Haqqi T.M., et al. Punica granatum L. extract inhbitis 1L-1B induced expression
            of matrix metalloproteinases by inhibiting the activiation of MAP kinases and
            NF-kB in human chondroctyes in vitro. J Nutrition 2005;135;2096-2102.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE FINDINGS

Much like the use of premium quality liquid Glucosamine (like Syn-flex®), pomegranate fruit extract may halt the progress of OA and joint destruction. As most consumers know by now, the use of conventional medications (COX-I and COX-II inhibitors) are only useful in handling pain. They do not work to preserve the integrity of the joint structure or prevent progression of the disease. It is also well-acknowledged that there are serious side effects associated with using NSAIDs.

POMEGRANATE AND SYSTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE

There is clinical evidence that pomegranate has been effective in reducing systolic blood pressure. It does so by inhibiting serum angiotensin-converting enzyme.*

            * Aviram M, Dornfeld L. pomegranate juice consumption serum angiotensin
               converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure Atherosclerosis
               2001 Sep; 158(1):195-8

POMEGRANATE & DENTAL PLAQUE

Dental plaque is a biofilm that develops and builds up on your teeth. If steps are not taken to remove it, the results can be cavities or even periodontal disease. For the most part, dental plaque is caused by bacteria that has been built up in your mouth.

While good dental practices such as brushing and flossing are some defense, there is evidence that Pomegranate may help.

Dental Plaque and dental virus

There are indications that pomegranate juice may have both antibacterial and antiviral effects against dental plaque.*

            * Mendendez SM, Cordeiro LN, Viana GS (2006). “Punica granatum
             (pomegranate) extract is active against dental plaque.” Journal of herbal
             pharmacotherapy 6 (2): 79-92. PMID 17182487

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