Although a normal intake of pomegranates from food sources is probably safe for pregnant women, it is not known if a large amount of pomegranate supplements or extracts are safe during pregnancy. One animal study involving pomegranate and pregnancy indicated that pomegranate juice helped to protect the baby rats from brain damage due to low oxygen. However, it is not known if this is the case in humans.
An Overview of Pomegranate and Pregnancy
A normal intake of pomegranate from food sources is probably no cause for concern for pregnant women. However, it is not known if unusually large intakes of pomegranate supplements or extracts are also safe for pregnant women.
Is Pomegranate Safe During Pregnancy?
In ancient times, the pomegranate was used as a contraceptive and as a substance used to cause miscarriages. However, there is no evidence that pomegranates actually possess such properties.
One animal study showed that when rats consumed pomegranate juice during pregnancy, it helped to protect the baby rats from brain damage due to low oxygen. It is thought that this action is due to the antioxidant properties of pomegranates. However, it is not known if human consumption of pomegranate juice will help to prevent this type of brain damage in newborns.
It is not known if pomegranate extracts or supplements are safe for pregnant women. If you desire to take pomegranate during pregnancy, it is probably best to simply eat pomegranate fruit or drink pomegranate juice.
If you are pregnant, it is always a good idea to have a discussion with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including pomegranate extracts or supplements. Also, it is a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before drastically increasing your intake of pomegranate juice or fruit.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed January 28, 2008.
Loren DJ, Seeram NP, Schulman RN, Holtzman DM. Maternal dietary supplementation with pomegranate juice is neuroprotective in an animal model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Pediatr Res 2005;57(6):858-64.
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