High Blood PressurePomegranate

Lowering blood pressure with pomegranate juice

During the Society for Endocrinology BES 2011 conference, researchers at the Queen Margaret University, in Edinburgh, Scotland, studied the effects of drinking pomegranate.

First, the details.

  • Participants were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Pomegranate juice 500 mL/day containing 1685 mg total phenolics/L followed before and one week later by 2, 30 minute treadmill exercise sessions (50% Wmax [half maximal power output])
    • Placebo: Water consumption instead of pomegranate followed by the treadmill.
  • 24-hour urine samples were collected and blood pressure monitored before and after each session.
  • Urinary lipid peroxidation levels (an indicator of oxidative stress in tissues and cells) and free cortisol and cortisone levels were measured in all urine samples.

And, the results.

  • Pomegranate juice significantly decreased systolic blood pressure (pre-exercise: 141 to 136 mmHg, and post-exercise: 156 to 150 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (91 to 87 mmHg and 103 to 95 mmHg).
  • Urinary lipid peroxidation levels also decreased significantly.
  • There was no significant change in lipid peroxidation or blood pressure among those who consumed water.
  • Urinary free cortisol was reduced, however there was a statistically significant increase in urinary free cortisone, and a decrease in free cortisol/cortisone ratio following 1 week of pomegranate juice intake.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Pomegranate juice seems to exert beneficial effects in reducing blood pressure pre/post exercise and lipid peroxidation levels due to exercise-induced oxidative stress.”

These results support an earlier review, here. Although my PubMed search revealed no studies of pomegranate in people with high blood pressure.

4/20/11 20:38 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.