Your medicine cabinet doesn’t contain the strongest protection against cardiovascular diseases. You might want to look into your kitchen cabinet or your home garden, instead.
Pomegranates Prevent Coronary Artery Disease Progression
The journal Atherosclerosis published a study that outlines pomegranate’s power when it comes to cardiovascular health. The study confirmed that pomegranate extract may prevent or reverse primary pathology linked to cardiac mortality: a form of progressive thickening of the coronary arteries usually caused by fatty deposits, known as atherosclerosis.
In the study, scientists used laboratory mice with a genetic susceptibility towards spontaneous coronary artery blockages. They were given pomegranate extract, which was added to their drinking water.
Despite the increased cholesterol levels pomegranate extract caused, associated with low density lipoprotein-sized particles, this pomegranate treatment also reduced the size of atherosclerotic plaques found in the aortic sinus, which is the dilated opening right above the aortic valve.
This treatment also reduced the proportion of the coronary arteries with occlusive atherosclerotic plaques.
Scientists also discovered other health benefits of pomegranate treatment, including:
- Reduced oxidative stress
- Reduced monocyte chemotactic protein-1, which is a chemical messenger, or a chemokine, usually associated with any inflammatory process in the arteries
- Reduced accumulation of lipids in the heart muscle
- Reduced monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and fibrosis in the myocardium
- Reduced heart enlargement
- Reduced ECG abnormalities
You’re probably wondering how such a simple fruit, or its extract, can possibly reverse the many aspects of coronary artery disease. The answer lies within the fact that our ancestors co-evolved thanks to certain fruits, so the lack of these foods can actually result in a malfunction of every bodily system.
Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner, explained that vitamin C deficiency is actually a fundamental cause of cardiovascular disease, linking this theory to the fact that hominid primate ancestors once had year-round abundance of fruit, which reduced their ability to metabolize it.
The results of this study supports the clinical research that shows pomegranate’s power to unclog arteries. In 2004, the journal Clinical Nutrition published the long- awaited results of a three-year clinical trial on an Israeli population.
The study showed that regular daily consumption of pomegranate juice may reverse carotid artery stenosis by 29% within a year. The study also outlined the ability of this fruit to unblock arteries, which was even more effective than they first thought.
Pomegranates provide a great number of health benefits, as confirmed by these studies, and we have covered some of the most important.[ii]
Similar to chronic degenerative diseases, inflammation can play a significant role in cardiovascular disease pathogenesis. GreenMedInfo.com offers 5 studies that indicate pomegranate’s anti-inflammatory properties.[iii]
Lowers Blood Pressure
Pomegranate juice contains natural angiotensin converting enzyme inhibiting properties, and it also enhances nitric oxide. These are two well-known pathways that reduce blood pressure. Pomegranate extract is also rich in punicalagin, which can reduce the adverse effects of perturbed stress on arteries exposed to improper flow.[vi]
Plaque buildups are often associated with secondary and bacterial infections, such as hepatitis C and Chlamydia pneumonia. Studies have also found that pomegranates offer a broad range e of anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Oxidation is one of the ways in which blood lipids promote heart disease. The LDL may increase, but it is harmless as long as it does not oxidize. Pomegranates can reduce oxidative stress in the blood, which is measured by serum paraoxonase levels. Scientists link the decrease in oxidative stress with a 44% reduction of atherosclerotic lesions.[viii]