The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) told POM Wonderful that their UK billboard showing a bottle of pomegranate juice and a hangman’s noose, and proclaims the juice can “cheat death” must be taken down.
ASA says “We considered the evidenceâ€¦ but concluded that it fell short of showing any direct relation between consuming the product and a longer life.”
So, what’s the evidence?
Here’s a summary of research in humans. Studies that show antioxidant effects but no change in disease or a clinical condition were omitted.
22 patients drank 40 grams/day of concentrated pomegranate juice for 8 weeks.
Compared to 8 weeks before treatment, taking pomegranate was associated with significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, LDL/HDL (good) cholesterol ratio, and total/HDL cholesterol ratio.
The sedative, midazolam (Versed) solution tastes bad.
75 anxious children had to be sedated before dental surgery.
Adding pomegranate to the midazolam solution didn’t make it easier for kids to take it.
And didn’t improve the sedation caused by midazolam.
The bottom line?
The results are a mile wide, but an inch deep. POM Wonderful states that it has spent $30 million on research. If you were responsible for the next million dollars of research, where would you spend the money?
I’m most impressed with the cholesterol data. The prostate data concern me because some people might get the impression that it’s a substitute for allopathic treatment.
And there’s nothing to suggest that pomegranate can “cheat death,” which, you may remember, was the original subject of this post.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.